With one week left at the 2018 US Open, spectators, UCLA alumni and members of the tennis community alike are keeping the memory of champion Arthur Ashe ’66 alive in honor of the 50th anniversary of his historic win.
The Washington Post published a an article reflecting on Ashe’s legacy as the first winner of the men’s singles title and the first African American to win a title at the US Open as well as a humanitarian who advocated for a variety of causes. At the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, before the day’s matches got underway, Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams presented Ashe’s younger brother Johnnie an American flag in honor of his brother’s military service.
The Washington Post also noted the popularity of the Arthur Ashe Legacy booth, run by UCLA volunteers, and its signature T-shirts with Ashe’s face that spectators have been wearing throughout the tournament. All proceeds from merchandise sold at the booth goes toward UCLA’s Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund.
Johnnie Ashe and his daughter, Luchia, UCLA Dean and Senior Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education Pat Turner and Arthur Ashe’s longtime friend and teammate Charlie Pasarell usually take time to visit the booth each year.
The Arthur Ashe Legacy UCLA Spark campaign reached its goal of 50 donations days before its deadline, prompting a new “stretch goal” of 68 donors in honor of 1968, the year Ashe won the US Open. The campaign will be open for donations until September 10; only seven more are needed to reach the new goal.
Regardless, with its original goal met, the UCLA Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund will be able to move forward with plans including establishing a physical and digital exhibit on the life and accomplishments of Arthur Ashe.
September 8, the second to last day of the 2018 tournament, is the 50th anniversary of the exact day Ashe won the title at the 1968 comeptition.
Below, visitors and volunteers enjoy their time at the booth.