Young alumnus Jon Spero (TPR'10) has chosen to support the Carnegie Mellon University tennis programs with an endowment gift in honor of his late parents, Dr. Joel Spero and Dr. Janet Amico. A native of Pittsburgh who now works for BelHealth Investment Partners in New York City, Spero enjoyed his time as a Tartan men's tennis player and was an integral part of the best season in men's tennis history.
Spero remembers when he first started playing tennis at age four after watching his parents play on a family vacation. From that point forward it was a family investment of time and passion, something his parents also poured into their professional lives as physicians in the Pittsburgh community.
"My parents left a great legacy throughout the city of Pittsburgh, both socially and professionally," said Spero. "They were huge fans of CMU tennis, especially while I was playing from 2006 to 2010. Given their passing, I wanted to honor them for the sacrifices they made during my tennis career."
Spero's gift of $50,000 will establish the Dr. Joel Spero and Dr. Janet Amico Endowed Tennis Fund and will impact the program for many years to come.
"It's important to me to give back to those who have given a lot to me," said Spero. "Without my parents' hard work throughout their whole life I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing. As an only child, I had a very close relationship with them. Probably the most important thing in my life going forward is to represent their legacy in a positive light."
"Jon was a community leader during his time as a student, and he remains a champion for intercollegiate athletics and our tennis programs with his generous support," said Director of Athletics Josh Centor. "Dr. Spero and Dr. Amico were fixtures at our matches, and Jon's leadership has ensured that his family's passion for Carnegie Mellon and our tennis program will be linked in perpetuity."
The Dr. Joel Spero and Dr. Janet Amico Endowed Tennis Fund will provide important support for the men's and women's tennis programs. The resources derived from the endowment will be utilized to support student experience and help the programs toward their goals of competing for conference and national championships.
"One of the stated goals of our department strategic plan is to increase the number of endowed funds supporting our students," Centor said. "We are grateful to Jon for his vision in helping us achieve this goal."
Spero's freshman year ended with the Tartans earning their first national ranking in program history in head coach Andy Girard's fourth season. By the time his career finished, the Tartans made three NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the quarterfinals his senior year while earning the program's best final ranking (#8) and the best record in school history at 21-6.
"Andy came in and changed the program and took us up to the next level," said Spero. "And part of that is having alumni support. I hope to continue the strong bond throughout years, even as people graduate 10 years apart, I hope they at least know each other and use each other for whatever is needed."
Spero is hopeful that fellow supporters of the Carnegie Mellon Tennis Programs will choose to make a gift to the endowed fund, because as the principal grows, so too does the annual impact on the teams and students.
To make a gift to the Dr. Joel Spero and Dr. Janet Amico Tennis Endowed Fund, please click here.