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E. Marguerite Chesney

University of Arizona


A self-taught tennis player who became a champion, Marguerite Chesney (1893 - 1971) pioneered women’s intercollegiate competition during her 36-year career at the University of Arizona. In the 1930’s, Chesney began to organize regional Play Days for college women; and in 1947 she initiated the co-educational Arizona Intercollegiate Invitational Tournament, which she directed for the next decade.

Chesney’s career includes many milestones such as the most singles titles in the Southwestern and Arizona Opens, the first woman sectional delegate to the USTA, and the first woman to be inducted into her university’s Sports Hall of Fame. Beloved by her students, she coached many champions including the 1946 national winner in junior doubles, Mary Cunningham. Another student, Laura Morgan Stubbs, wrote in tribute, “Any memory of Miss Chesney is a happy one.”

Career Highlights
    B.S.’25 University of Arizona; M.A.’29 Columbia University
    Southwestern Tennis Association Singles Champion 1916, 1918-1920, 1923, 1927; Doubles Campion 1919-1920, 1922, 1927
    Arizona Open Singles Champion 1916-1920, 1926-1927, 1931
    First woman president of the SWTA 1939-1940
    Initiated Arizona Intercollegiate Invitational Tournament 1947; tournament director 1947-1957
    Initiated Racquet Club Tennis Tournament for under-15 players 1946
    Marguerite Chesney Cup for women’s singles donated to the SWTA 1948
    First woman appointed as a sectional delegate to the USTA 1952; member, USTA Women’s Advisory Committee 1954
    Coached Jeanne Doyle Garrett 1948-1950, singles and doubles champion at the Ojai,California Intercollegiates: Mari Bailey Bell 1942-1946, SWTA singles and doubles champion; Marie Jacks 1945-1948, SWTA doubles champion; Mary Cunningham 1945-1947, national junior and SWTA doubles champion
    Director of Physical Education for women, University of Arizona 1951-1958
    Marguerite Chesney Trophy donated to University of Arizona to honor Arizona Open women’s singles champions 1958
    Marguerite Chesney Scholarship and portrait donated by alumnae 1965
    Charter Member, University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame 1976; SWTA Hall of Fame 1991
Other 1996 Inductees
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