Oklahoma City couple fully fund refurbishing of USAO tennis courts

Tennis lovers Guy and Caroline Patton believe in university’s liberal arts mission
Tennis lovers Guy and Caroline Patton believe in university’s liberal arts mission

Oklahoma’s only public liberal arts college, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma will soon boast completely refurbished tennis courts thanks to the generosity of Oklahoma City couple Guy and Caroline Patton, who have donated $40,000 for the project.

“Before JP [Audas, director of development] invited us to campus, I had never heard of USAO, and I think there might be a lot of Oklahomans who haven’t,” said Caroline Patton. “I think that’s sad because I am a firm believer in the liberal arts model of education and want to support it in our state. The history of the school really stood out, as did the energy and enthusiasm of the students and professors I talked to, but it needs some investment to really make it a crown jewel.”

Located across Grand Ave. from the university’s main campus, the tennis courts are in a prime location but have had regular maintenance deferred for years due to budget cuts. The Patton’s generous gift will allow for new perimeter fencing, windscreens, and resurfacing and repainting courts to include lines for pickleball, a paddle sport that has been rapidly growing in popularity.

“Being primarily concerned with academics, we really didn’t expect to make an athletics-related donation,” said Patton. “But we understand how schools can leverage that to attract diverse students, bolster scholarships and improve the institution overall. We hope that our donation will plant a seed that will spur others to invest in all of the great programs at USAO, and that they can continue to serve Oklahomans interested in and inspired by their liberal arts mission.”

After the refurbishing of the courts is completed, additional enhancements planned for the area include a walking path, picnic tables and improved parking.

“Guy and I are both Oklahomans, but we had been away for 25 years,” said Patton. “We’re just happy to be back and happy to be investing in things that are important to the future of our state!”

"The Pattons are wonderful people and they fully understand the power of an investment in education. They see the tremendous potential that exists here at USAO and our entire university community is extremely grateful and excited about this important beautification project," said Audas.

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