Southern Tennis Foundation establishes Althea Gibson Scholarship

Ron Cioffi | December 07, 2022

The Southern Tennis Foundation (STF), the charitable affiliate of USTA Southern, is proud to announce the establishment of a college scholarship in memory of one of the great female athletes in tennis and any sport, Althea Gibson.


Gibson, a native of Silver, S.C., won five Grand Slam singles titles and six doubles titles, and achieved the world No. 1 ranking in 1958, the first Black to earn that distinction. She was named by Sports Illustrated for Women to its list of the 100 Greatest Female Athletes and was the first Black woman to appear on the covers of Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated. She also became the first Black to play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.

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  • Winner of 11 Grand Slam titles, five in singles and six in doubles
  • Captured singles crowns at the French Open in 1956, the U.S National Championships (presently the US Open) in 1957 and 1958 and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958
  • Won the following six Grand Slam doubles titles: women’s doubles at the 1956 French, the 1957 Australian, 1956, 1957 and 1958 Wimbledon, and the 1957 U.S National Championship mixed doubles
  • In 1958 was ranked No. 1 in the world when she retired and turned professional
  • First Black woman to compete in the U.S. National Championships 1950
  • First Black woman to compete on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour
  • Inducted into eight Halls of Fame, including the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971
  • Was the only woman of color to win a Grand Slam championship for
    15 years. It took 43 years (Serena Williams at the 1999 US Open) for another Black female to win a major.
  • The first Black woman to appear on the covers of Time Magazine 
    (Aug. 26, 1957) and Sports Illustrated (Sept. 2, 1957)
  • Named by Sports Illustrated for Women to its list of the 100 Greatest Female Athletes
  • Gibson captured American Tennis Association (ATA) junior national championships at 17 and 18 years old and, in 1947, won the first of ten straight ATA national women’s titles
Althea Gibson at Forest Hills, 1956
  • According to the USTA, Gibson won her first international championships at the Caribbean Championships in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 1951
  • Member of the victorious 1957 Wightman Cup team
  • Born in Silver, S.C. on Aug. 29, 1927, and passed on Sept. 28, 2003

(From the International Tennis Hall of Fame and other sources)


The STF is an independent volunteer-led 501(c)3 organization that provides needs-based scholarships, grants to assist competitive junior players, grants for youth-oriented programs, and emergency assistance to programs, pros and players. Donations are tax-exempt, and every dollar donated to the STF goes back to programs and players in the Southern states.


Click here to make donation to the Althea Gibson Scholarship. For other giving options, visit the Southern Tennis Foundation website. If you prefer, you may mail your check to Southern Tennis Foundation/USTA Southern/5685 Spalding Drive/Peachtree Corners, GA  30092.  If you want to make a multi-year pledge or some other special arrangement, contact USTA Southern Executive Director & COO Matt Olson.t to see more options in this RTE - make sure you expand the component for more options. This is the default layout, and this is a text component. 



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