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Mary Ellen Grant

Emory University

2019 Inductee

When Mary Ellen Gordon was six years old, she joined her parents in a game of tennis. Being a natural athlete, she picked it up quickly, and when it came time to focus on one sport, the option was obvious; she had a passion for tennis that kept her coming back for more.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Gordon says, “which keeps things interesting because you’re always getting better and honing your skills.” Gordon took that work ethic and talent to Emory University, where she helped her team rock the NCAA. “I loved that tennis in college was a team sport,” Gordon says. It helped me find the right motivation to play my best tennis.”

In addition to winning two NCAA Singles titles, Gordon was also the first player in NCAA history to win national doubles titles all four years of her college career. She also helped Emory become the first Division III program to make three consecutive appearances in the team NCAA championship match and propelled the team to national titles in 2003 and 2004. Gordon was the first female in conference history to receive the MVP award every single season of her career. To top off an illustrious career, in 2014 she was inducted into the Emory Sports Hall of Fame.

During her highly decorated college tennis years, Gordon stayed focused on what really mattered: the adventure along the way. “You have to enjoy the journey,” Gordon says. “There’s so much hard work that goes into winning titles, and its not always fun. You have to be in it for the journey and not just the end result.”

Gordon applies many of the same principles she learned in tennis to her career in the tech industry. In her free time, she volunteers for BC4C, a fitness bootcamp in Atlanta that donates all of its proceeds to the local community.

Career Highlights
    Played for University of Emory Women’s Tennis Team (2000-2004)
    NCAA Division III Singles Champion (2003, 2004)
    NCAA Division III Doubles Champion (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
    ITA National Senior Player of the Year (2004)
    Helped team win national titles two years in a row (2003, 2004)
    Assisted in solidifying four straight University Athletic Association crowns First player in NCAA history — male or female — to win doubles titles all four years of competing
    Holds record for most singles wins at Emory University with 115
    First female player in any sport to win UAA Conference MVP every season of her career
    Inducted into Emory University Hall of Fame (2014)
    Honored as the 2004 NCAA Division III Athlete of the Year (all sports included) by the Collegiate Women Sports Award
    Finished her career with eight NCAA Championships (2 team, 2 singles and 4 doubles), making her the most decorated female player in NCAA history in any division
    Selected by the ITA as one of 10 players to compete as part of an ITA All- Star Team representing the United States in Japan in 2003
Other 2019 Inductees
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