Fritz B. Burns Foundation Endows Tennis Travel Fund

    April 27, 2017

    LOS ANGELES--On April 25, 2017, the men’s and women’s tennis teams were presented with a $300,000 gift from the Fritz B. Burns Foundation. This generous gift will endow a travel fund for both the men’s and women’s tennis teams, and provide them with the opportunity to travel to competitions throughout the country.

    “We are so honored by the Fritz Burns Foundation’s generosity and commitment to the betterment of student-athletes,” head USC men’s tennis coach Peter Smith said. “The Foundation has really shown a continued support of our USC student-athletes in improving their overall experience. This gift is a huge lift for our program, and we are so thankful."

    “Being able to travel and compete at a high level is crucial to the improvement of our program,” said junior USC women’s tennis player Gabby Smith. “It allows us to compete not only against Pac-12 opponents, but against teams all throughout the country, which in turn leads to great exposure for our program. My teammates and I could not be more grateful for this donation.”

    In addition to the travel endowment, the Fritz Burns Foundation previously donated $2 million towards the renovation of Marks Tennis Stadium. The ribbon-cutting and dedication for the new facility was held on Feb. 16, 2016, in which two courts were named in honor of Burns, including the unveiling of the new Fritz B. Burns Center Court. Additionally, a $100,000 gift was made to name the Fritz B. Burns Grandstand Entrance. The Foundation also endowed the No. 1 men’s and women’s tennis players’ scholarships fund in the amount of $500,000 each.

    Fritz B. Burns was born in Minneapolis in 1899. After attending college and serving in the army, he came to Los Angeles to head a real estate sales force. During the Depression, he lived for five years in a construction tent at the beach so he wouldn’t lose his business. He built so many homes, he became known as Mr. Housing, and was the first President of the National Association of Home Builders. Burns, a philanthropist his entire life, had a passion for serving people. In fact, he and his wife Gladys kept a herd of live Reindeer to make people happy at Christmas time and would donate much of their time to charity.