Diane Donnelly Stone
Diane Donnelly Stone’s
determination helped her overcome two big challenges. “Being just over five feet tall, tennis was a sport I could play,” Diane says. “I became very consistent. Diane’s other big challenge: diabetes. Diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of six, she played her entire career with the disease — something few have done at the highest level of tennis. “My doctors said it was very important to be involved in sports so I could maintain a healthy lifestyle.”
Diane let nothing hold her back. She eventually committed to Northwestern University and led her team to two Big Ten titles. She and Katrina Adams captured the NCAA Doubles Championship — only the 2nd NCAA title for a Northwestern athlete and the first for a woman. Diane holds impressive records for Northwestern women’s tennis with a winning percentage of .935 in singles (1985) and the highest all-time winning percentage — 1.000 — in doubles in 1987 with Katrina Adams.
Diane was ranked as high as #5 in the NCAA singles and was a three-time All-American. After graduation, Diane played the WTA satellite circuit and won two ITF Challenger doubles titles and competed in the 1987 US Open doubles championships.
After retiring from the tennis tour, Diane began working for World Team Tennis as an Executive Assistant to Billie Jean King and continued in that role for 33 years. In 1998, Billie Jean, along with Diane and her sister Tracey, created an award which has given over $700,000 to student athletes who play tennis and have diabetes.
“My career has gone beyond anything I could have imagined,” says Diane. “And then to find out that I was being inducted into the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame was beyond all my dreams.”
- • US Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award in 1983
• Two Big Ten Championship titles in 1985 and 1986
• Finalist for the NCAA’s Most Improved Player in 1986
• Awarded the ITA Unsung Hero Award in 1986
• Tennis Magazine Collegiate Tennis All-American All-Star Team in 1986
• Western Michigan Tennis Association Player of the Year in 1987
• 1987 NCAA Doubles Champion with partner Katrina Adams
• Inducted into the Portage Northern High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987
• Competed in the 1987 US Open doubles championships
• Highest doubles world ranking: #209
• Inducted into the Northwestern University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998
• Vice President of WTT overseeing the nationwide Recreational League with over 75,000 grassroots players
• Executive Director of the Donnelly Awards, a scholarship program that has awarded over $700,000 to student athletes who play tennis and have diabetes
• 3 time Collegiate All American
• ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame Inductee, 2022