CSA Receives Gift To Name Lifetime Achievement Award

Blasberg family members John (left), Jack (second left), Annie (second right), and Jeanne (right) host family patriarch Arthur (middle) at a favorite event: one of his grandchildren’s squash matches. CSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is now named in Arthur Blasberg Jr.’s honor. (photo courtesy of Blasberg family)

College Squash Association (CSA) Board of Directors member Jeanne Blasberg, her husband, John, and their family have made a generous gift to entitle and memorialize the CSA Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of John’s late father, Arthur Blasberg, Jr.

The Blasberg family is the second family to sponsor a CSA award as part of the Founding Partners Campaign, CSA’s coordinated philanthropic effort to secure the near-term future of the organization. The Schiller family presented the Skillman Award in honor of their father, Dr. Sheldon Schiller, for the first time this past season.

Arthur Blasberg, Jr. learned to play squash at the Harvard Club of Boston and then taught his sons to play. Little did he know that those early lessons would lead to an enthusiastic, decades-long love of college squash and all that it embodies.

“Arthur supported and rooted for his children and grandchildren, as well as their teams, and he was a fixture at matches and national championships for the last decade of his life,” said his daughter-in-law Jeanne. “Nothing brought him greater joy than watching a hard-fought squash match.”

The most recent Blasberg grandchild to complete a college squash career, Annie, Dartmouth College Class of 2020, had this remembrance of her grandfather: “I’ll always remember Pop Pop in the stands watching me play. He’d come to support us grandkids but wouldn’t leave until all the matches were finished. He made great friends with other parents over the eight seasons my brothers and I competed, and a hard-fought squash match was something he would talk about for weeks.”

The honor – now named the Arthur Blasberg, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award – was first awarded in 1998 and is reserved for “those rare individuals who have contributed throughout their career to college squash as a whole and who have dedicated a career to the sport.” The most recent award was bestowed in 2007.

“This gift and entitlement will give us the enthusiasm to revamp and restart the process of identifying and honoring worthy candidates for this honor,” said John Nimick, Chair of the CSA Board of Directors. “We anticipate this award returning to prominence as a vital component of the CSA community.”

Jeanne Blasberg added, “This gift is made with love from his CSA playing progeny: Arthur Blasberg III (Wesleyan ’85), John M. Blasberg (Amherst ’85), Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg (Smith ’87), Jack Blasberg (Brown ’16), Charlie Blasberg (Brown ’18), and Annie Blasberg (Dartmouth ’20)”

Like the Blasbergs and the Schillers have done, contributing to the CSA Founding Partners Campaign offers individuals, families, and companies the opportunity to align with the passion of college squash, to enhance players’ experiences, and to amplify the vibrancy of varsity competition. Near-term goals include enriching the student-athlete experience at all levels and retaining the Executive Director, whose focus is emphasizing fairness and consistency in college squash and expanding the opportunities to play competitive squash on college campuses.

“On behalf of the CSA, I want to thank Jeannie Blasberg and her family for the many ways that they have positively impacted our community over the last several years,” said CSA Executive Director & League Commissioner David Poolman. “Jeannie’s leadership and generosity, both with this gift and her three years as an Independent Director, have helped put the CSA on a path to sustained success.”

All general inquiries about the Founding Partners Campaign, as well as requests for more details about specific gifts and sponsorship opportunities, should be directed to admin@csasquash.com. General contributions can be made using this link – DONATE TO COLLEGE SQUASH ASSOCIATION – or via check made payable to Intercollegiate Squash Association, Inc.