UCSB Athletics Receives Largest Single Gift in Department's History

UCSB Athletics Receives Largest Single Gift in Department's History

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara Director of Athletics Mark Massari announced Thursday that the Gauchos will receive the largest single gift in the school’s athletics’ history. The gift value is expected to be nearly $1.9 million from the estate of Ardy Barton and will benefit men's and women's tennis.

A native of Rhode Island, Mr. Barton, who recently passed away, was a Santa Barbara resident for over fifty years. He earned both his bachelor's and law degrees from USC, was a World War II veteran and had a passion for tennis, playing well into his 80's. In the early 1960's he was Santa Barbara Assistant City Attorney.

"We are grateful for Ardy's exceptional generosity in having committed this gift as part of his estate," remarked Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "His gift will provide significant scholarship support for our wonderful student-athletes in men's and women's tennis.  As an avid tennis player himself, Ardy asked that his gift create an endowment that will assist our teams and players in perpetuity."

The gift establishes endowed scholarships to be shared equally by men's and women's tennis and will be known as the Ardy Barton Endowment for Men's and Women's Tennis.  UCSB Athletics refers to gifts supporting long-term program resources and scholarship support as Enhancement Giving.

"On behalf of athletics, I am excited for the university and our tennis programs," Massari said. "Through this truly selfless gift, Mr. Barton will enable generations the opportunity to be part of our campus as tennis student-athletes. His memory and generosity will forever live through the Gauchos."

Men's tennis is coached by Marty Davis who led the Gauchos to their eighth Big West title and NCAA appearance last season. The 14-year veteran has been Big West Coach of the Year six times. The women are led Simon Thibodeau who, after a highly successful nine year career at Fresno State, led the Gauchos in only his first season to the program’s highest national ranking in 20 years.

The gift supporting student-athletes is part of The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, the university's comprehensive campaign approaching one billion dollars to benefit the university, its programs and its students, faculty and staff.

Mr. Barton’s gift is the second major gift given to UCSB Athletics this year. In the spring, the department received an anonymous gift for approximately a half million dollars to bestow the name Jim ('67, mathematics) and Cheryl ('66, physical education) Barber Academic & Student Success Center on the area that serves all 500 student-athletes and 20 programs daily.

For more information on supporting Gaucho student-athletes please visit gauchofund.com. For The Campaign for UC Santa Barbara go to www.ia.ucsb.edu/campaign.