Former USC All-American Heliane Steden Endows Women's Tennis Scholarship
LOS ANGELES--Former USC three-time All-American women's tennis player Heliane Steden has endowed a scholarship in her name for the Women of Troy tennis program, the largest gift to the Trojan Athletic Department by a former USC female student-athlete from the Title IX era.
The gift by Steden, a managing director at Merrill Lynch, will be used primarily for an international player.
Steden was born in Germany but grew up in Mexico City until she relocated to the United States in 1983 to attend USC on a tennis scholarship.
Steden was a member of USC's 1983 and 1985 NCAA championship teams. She earned All-American honors in 1984-85-86. She represented Mexico in the Federation Cup in 1983-84-85 and won a bronze medal in the Pan Am Games in 1983. The one-time top-ranked Mexican women's player was named her country's top female athlete in 1985. She captured three USTA Singles titles and three Doubles crowns. As a professional for five years, she was a Top 100-ranked player, competing in numerous tournaments, including Grand Slam events.
She received her bachelor's degree in business administration from USC in 1986. "When I came to the United States I left my country and my family and didn't know what to expect," said Steden. "I was all on my own. USC became my second home and I learned life lessons that helped shape me into the person I am today. Being a student-athlete at USC impacted my life in such a positive way and I was able to compete professionally because of what I learned at USC. I look back at my time at USC with great fondness and I now understand what it means to be a Trojan for life."
"Heliane's gift is so important because it demonstrates to our current players and future players that when you play tennis at USC you are a Trojan for life," said USC women's tennis head coach Richard Gallien. "Heliane's success not only on the courts but in the business world is a wonderful example to our young women of what it means to be a student-athlete here at USC. This gift is extraordinary in itself, but the fact that a dear friend and someone of Heliane's stature is behind it makes this extra special."
"On behalf of the entire Trojan Family, and in particular the USC Women's Tennis program, we thank Heliane for her generous gift," said USC athletic director Pat Haden. "The impact of her gift will be felt for many, many years. I find it especially impressive that Heliane was so influenced by her time at USC that she wants to ensure other young women have an opportunity similar to hers. She truly is a role model to our current and future student-athletes."