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Goucher College to get new tennis courts thanks to 101-year-old alumna, former registrar

Evelyn Schroedl, 101, of Parkville, hugs a student tennis player at her alma mater and former employer Goucher College, after a ceremony marking the start of construction of a new tennis court that she is underwriting for the school.
Evelyn Schroedl, 101, of Parkville, hugs a student tennis player at her alma mater and former employer Goucher College, after a ceremony marking the start of construction of a new tennis court that she is underwriting for the school. (Libby Solomon/Towson Times)

Goucher College will boast 12 new outdoor tennis courts in the fall, thanks to an 101-year-old alumna and former registrar, school officials say.

The courts will host the college’s men’s and women’s Division III tennis teams. It will also be open for use by the surrounding community, school spokeswoman Tara de Souza said. The school’s current courts are cracked and uneven, de Souza said.

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The courts are being built thanks to Evelyn Schroedl, 101, who Goucher College president José Antonio Bowen said has been a part of the Goucher community for seven decades.

“You are intimately woven into the fabric of Goucher’s history, and we are all forever grateful,” Board of Trustees member Miriam Brown Hutchins said at a groundbreaking ceremony March 1 honoring Schroedl’s gift.

De Souza said Schroedl’s seven-figure gift will underwrite the tennis facility. She said she was unable to release exact numbers for the gift or facility costs.

Schroedl, a 101-year-old resident of Parkville’s Oak Crest community, said she started playing tennis when she retired and still plays doubles at her local recreation center every week.

She said the thing she loves about tennis is how many people she meets playing — so many, she said, that she runs into people she’s played with everywhere.

Schroedl could not afford college after high school and instead attended Goucher College part time while working in the registrar’s office, according to a press release. She graduated at age 42 and eventually became the school’s registrar, working at Goucher for more than 30 years.

In her speech, Brown Hutchins noted that Schroedl was working at Goucher during the college’s move from Baltimore to Towson in the 1950s.

“This new tennis facility symbolizes another Goucher transformation you are a part of,” Brown Hutchins said.

The centenarian said she decided to gift Goucher with the courts “because I could.”

“I learned to invest at Goucher,” Schroedl said. “I’m telling everybody who’s young that you’ve got to do that if you want to retire and enjoy life.”

Dozens of tennis players lined up to hug Schroedl after the groundbreaking, thanking her for the gift.

“Your gift is transformational,” Goucher’s Athletic Director Andrew Wu said during the ceremony.

While supporting her former school, Schroedl said she also wanted to give the community a place to play tennis. Over the years, she said, her favorite places to play have closed down. De Souza said Schroedl specifically requested that the new courts be available for public use.

“This isn’t just a gift to Goucher,” Wu said. “This is a gift to the Baltimore community.”

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