MTSU announces LaLance family tennis donation

Scoreboard to be named in families honor

March 26, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO - The scoreboard for the 47,000-square-foot indoor tennis facility planned for Old Fort Park will be named in honor of the LaLance families of Murfreesboro, MTSU announced Thursday.

The naming of the "LaLance Family Scoreboard" recognizes a donation from the families of Richard "Dick" and Jan LaLance and the late Robert "Bob" and Martha Lou LaLance toward the construction of a $3 million facility being built by MTSU and the City of Murfreesboro.

MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro said the LaLance families' gift has put the campaign over the $1.9 million mark.

Robert LaLance served as MTSU's vice president of student affairs from 1975 to 1998 and was the longest-serving vice president in the university's history.

Robert LaLance's younger brother, Dick, served as the Raiders men's tennis head coach from 1977 to 1987. The Raiders were named the 1979 regular-season and tournament champion of the Ohio Valley Conference.

It was Dick's oldest son, Kirk, who led the efforts to pull family members together to financially support the project, said Alan Farley, MTSU's associate athletics director.

Martha Lou LaLance, the widow of Rob LaLance, and her children, Wendy White, Chuck LaLance and Amy Nance Walker, also joined in the investment, Farley said.

"The LaLances' are one of the first families in Murfreesboro tennis," Farley said. "It is only fitting that the LaLance name be present in this tennis facility.

"Dr. Bob and Coach LaLance had an enormous impact on numerous students at MTSU and had very strong ties to the success of our university. The LaLance family members have continued their legacy of giving back to MTSU and our community."

Contributing to the indoor tennis campaign "seemed to be the perfect fit to honor our appreciation of a family tradition as well as support the community in which we enjoy living and playing tennis," said Wendy White, daughter of Bob and Martha LaLance.

Kirk LaLance, eldest son of Dick and Jan LaLance, said the family was proud that the university, the city and the tennis community were joining together to build the facility.

"Understanding how the indoor tennis facility will impact the city of Murfreesboro, MTSU tennis, and the tennis community makes this opportunity easy for us to support," LaLance said.

The family's love of tennis grew into a legacy with three generations producing avid tennis competitors. Because of their competitive nature, family members said, it is fitting the scoreboard bears their name.

Farley said the family also hopes to inspire others to participate in the indoor tennis facility campaign.

The project, part of the University's $80 million Centennial Campaign announced April 13, includes plans for six to eight courts; locker rooms for men and women; a lobby; a viewing area for spectators, a laundry room and the electronic scoreboard.

The facility, set to be located at Old Fort Park, would be open to the general public and serve as the home of the Blue Raider men's and women's tennis programs.

Anyone interested in contributing to the project is asked to call Farley at (615) 898-2210.

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