City tennis icon gives CSU program landmark gift

University Tennis Complex

Evelyn Hoeven, a city tennis icon and passionate supporter of CSU, and family friend Tim Sanford have donated $200,000 to the women’s tennis program — the largest gift in the program’s history.

The gift was announced by Rams coach Jarod Camerota and Joe Parker, director of athletics.

“We are grateful to Evelyn Hoeven and Tim Sanford for their generosity to our tennis program,” Parker said. “This gift provides a significant boost to the program and allows us to make investments that greatly enhance the experience of our students who participate in tennis.”

Evelyn Hoeven portrait
Evelyn Hoeven

Scholarship, facility impact

The gift allows CSU to install six electronic scoreboards at the University Tennis Center, its home facility, and establishes the Hoeven Family Tennis Scholarship to provide scholarship funds to tennis student-athletes. The remainder of the gift will be put to use to address areas of greatest needs within the women’s tennis program. The pavilion at the south campus tennis facility will be renamed in honor of Evelyn Hoeven and her late husband, Jim.

“Our sincere gratitude to Tim Sanford, Evelyn Hoeven, her husband Roy Arterburn, and the Hoeven family for all they do for CSU and the Fort Collins community,” Camerota said. “This gift helps us continue to recruit and attract exceptional student-athletes to our program, while also giving our fans a better in-match experience.”

Hoeven has served as a leader, not only in the tennis community, but Northern Colorado as a whole. Her energy, passion for relationships, and bright personality have led to roles in teaching, coaching, organizing and leading in meaningful ways. Jim, a Dartmouth and Harvard grad, came to work in Denver following service in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, and taught finance for 22 years at CSU before retiring in 1995.

“Tennis has always been such an important part of our life and our family’s life,” said Hoeven. “We hope this support makes a difference for the women’s tennis program and its student-athletes for years to come. It is because of Tim that we are able to make this gift. Thank you for honoring Jim this way.”

City tennis pioneer

Hoeven founded the Fort Collins Tennis Club, now called the Fort Collins Tennis Association, in 1975. Her love for tennis spans three generations; she coached both the boys and girls tennis teams at Poudre High School and is still an assistant coach at Lesher Middle School.

Her four children and nine grandchildren have played high school tennis, with each qualifying, in various positions, to play at the state tournament. Her granddaughter, Ky Ecton, recently earned back-to-back No. 1 singles championships for Poudre High School.

Charles “Tim” Sanford, founder and president of Sanford Homes, credits Jim Hoeven with being an important influence in his choice of Denver to establish his home construction company. Jim Hoeven served on the board of directors of Sanford Homes for several years.

“It was my good fortune that Jim was the first fellow student I met the first morning at Harvard Business School,” Sanford said. “As we were in the same section, we walked to the class room together and sat next to each other for most first year classes. We became very close friends. It is my privilege to honor Jim with this gift.”