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Skidmore College

Emerson Foundation pledges $450,000 challenge grant for McCaffery-Wagman Tennis and Wellness Center

February 26, 2024

Skidmore College has received a $450,000 challenge grant from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation to support the McCaffery-Wagman Tennis and Wellness Center. The grant calls for Skidmore to raise $1 for every $1 of funding by February 2025, for a total of $900,000.

The $42 million LEED-certified center, designed to meet the diverse fitness, athletics, health, and wellness needs of all students, will house a comprehensive suite of facilities and services, including Health Services, the Counseling Center, and the Department of Health Promotion. It will also feature a robust array of fitness and recreational amenities, including a 10,000-square-foot cardio and weight room and dedicated spaces for exercise and wellness programming such as yoga, meditation, martial arts, and spin. The project is expected to be completed next academic year.

"The generosity of the Emerson Foundation will have a tremendous impact in enhancing the experiences of our students,” said Skidmore President Marc C. Conner. “The McCaffery-Wagman Tennis and Wellness Center is not just a building — it is a testament to Skidmore’s unyielding commitment to student wellness, a priority more pressing than ever in today’s collegiate landscape.”

An NCAA-caliber tennis complex — including eight outdoor tennis courts, four indoor courts, a viewing room, and varsity athletic training spaces — is a central part of the McCaffery-Wagman Tennis and Wellness Center. New locker rooms and team meeting rooms will renew the College’s commitment to the student-athlete experience while investing in athletics facilities for all.

Outdoor tennis courts at McCaffery-Wagman Tennis and Wellness Center

Skidmore unveiled the outdoor tennis courts at McCaffery-Wagman Tennis and Wellness Center and held its first-ever competition at the new complex last September.

“Starting with the completion of the new outdoor tennis courts in time for our men’s and women’s team competitions last fall, the benefits of the project are already being felt by our campus community,” said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics Gail Cummings-Danson. “The McCaffery-Wagman Center represents a fundamental part of the College’s vision for providing every student at Skidmore with the resources, support, and environment they need to thrive.”

Skidmore and the Emerson Foundation have shared a longstanding partnership over the past 50 years. The Foundation has generously contributed to scholarship funds, the Arthur Zankel Music Center, and most recently to the Billie Tisch Center for Integrated Sciences. 

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