In the early 1990s, the leaders of amateur squash in the United States adopted International standards of play. Accordingly, colleges and universities nationwide immediately started building new International courts for their intercollegiate programs. In addition to new rules and a softer ball, the International game requires a court measuring 2.5 feet wider than the U.S. format court and has a tin that is 2 inches higher.
Yale devotees of the sport realized that the main squash facility at Payne Whitney, in the east wing of the fourth floor, would soon be out of date, since all its courts were built to U.S. specifications. In addition to renovating its courts to comply with International standards, Yale faced the need for more spectator space as the sport continued to grow in popularity.
A Yale alumnus promptly stepped forward to get the daunting task of renovation under way. In 1995 Theodore P. Shen '66 presented a leadership gift that enabled the University to begin construction of new courts. His generosity led to the completion of six new International-standard courts including one with three glass walls, in Phase One of renovations. Ted Shen's example, and its results, inspired other donors to contribute.
To complete the conversion project, President Richard C. Levin in 1997 called upon the Skillman Associates, a volunteer organization of friends of Yale squash, to help raise funds for Phase Two. Fund raising was organized by Henry (Sam) Chauncey '57 and Skillman Associates president William T. Ketcham, Jr. '41, '48 LL.B. The Skillman members responded with a groundswell of support, as they had already done for earlier renovations in 1979. The final step in securing the full-scale rebuilding of the courts came when alumnus Nicholas F. Brady '52 announced a landmark gift on behalf of the project. Nicholas F. Brady, a 1952 graduate of Yale College who lettered in both tennis and squash during his undergraduate years and, as captain of the 1952 varsity squash team, led Yale to a national championship. Mr. Brady went on to receive an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1954. He was Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during both the Reagan and Bush Presidencies. He is currently Chairman and CEO of Darby Overseas Investments,Ltd.
The remodeled squash center was designed and supervised by Ellerbe Becket Architects, a Washington, D.C. firm that has been involved in several renovations for Yale's athletic facilities. They were assisted by Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and the engineering firm Flack & Kurtz.
By the fall of 1999 the demolition and reconstruction of Yale's squash courts was complete, resulting in a state-of-the-art facility known as the Brady Squash Center. The Center now boasts 15 brand-new International singles courts with glass back walls and viewing galleries. Three of these are exhibition courts, including two courts having three glass walls, and the unique four-glass-wall Brady Court as a spectacular centerpiece. The facility now includes new coaches' offices and a team room complete with video viewing. Altogether the Brady Squash Center ranks as the finest in the country and one of the best squash facilities in the world.
The first six of Yale's new courts are designated as the Theodore Shen Wing in recognition of Mr. Shen's generous support of Phase One renovations. Hundreds of alumni and friends also contributed to the facility.