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Lynn Tilton ’81 to Receive ITA’s Highest Honor

Lynn Tilton. (photo courtesy Lynn Tilton)
Lynn Tilton. (photo courtesy Lynn Tilton)

Successful Businesswoman Becomes Second Yale Alumnus to Receive ITA Achievement Award

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) will be honoring Lynn Tilton '81 with the 2014 ITA Achievement Award at a ceremony hosted by the International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) at the Grant Hyatt Hotel in New York on Friday, Sept. 5.  This award is the ITA's highest honor, and, according to the ITA, for 21 years it has gone to men and women in the world of varsity tennis who have achieved excellence in their chosen careers.  The honor recognizes both professional success and contributions to society, made either as a direct result of a career, or through humanitarian efforts.  Tilton, now a highly successful businesswoman, earned one major letter and one minor letter for the Yale women's tennis team. 

Tilton is the Founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners, a holding company with revenues in excess of $8 billion and employing more than 120,000 people.  Patriarch Partners is currently the largest woman-owned business in the United States.  In her role at the helm of Patriarch Partners, Tilton works to address joblessness in America by saving companies in danger of liquidation.  Since 2000, she has restructured 243 companies, saving nearly 700,000 jobs in the process.  In 2011, Tilton discussed her efforts to save jobs in an interview with Barbara Walters on "20/20".  In addition to her successful business ventures, Tilton is also devoted to humanitarian causes, including supporting U.S. troops, funding scholarships for the Wounded Warrior Foundation and empowering women in need.

Before attending Yale and playing for the women's tennis team, Tilton was a nationally-ranked junior tennis player.  After graduating from Yale with honors with a B.A. in American Studies in 1981, she worked as an analyst at Morgan Stanley and went on to receive her M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.  Tilton is the second Yale alumnus to receive the ITA Achievement Award, with Dr. Geoffrey Tabin '78 receiving the honor in 2007. 

Tilton has previously received several honors and awards for her work, including the 2009 Turnaround Atlas Leadership Achievement Award, the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year award from Living Legends in Aviation and the 2011 Luminary Award presented by Womensphere.  Additionally, Tilton was recently inducted into the Living Legends of Aviation Hall of Fame by the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy, and CNBC and its viewers recently named Tilton one of the 100 Most Influential Names in Business over the last 25 years.

When Tilton receives her award from Stan Smith, President of the ITHF, and David A. Benjamin, ITA Executive Director, on Sept. 5, Rolex Watch U.S.A. will present her with a personally engraved Rolex Timepiece.  She will be recognized at the ITHF Legends Ball that evening, and she will be invited to a session of the 2014 U.S. Open, courtesy of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).  In addition, the Yale women's tennis team will receive $1,000 from the ITA in Tilton's honor.

Report by Robert Batista '15, Yale Sports Publicity