Ogazón Family Fronton
The Ogazón Family Fronton, located on the first floor of the Fernandez Family Center for Leadership and Wellness, was dedicated on June 11, 2015 in a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, thanks to a generous gift by the Ogazón family, who had a long history with St. Thomas University and racquet sports.
The Ogazón Family Fronton came as a result of brainstorming by Dr. Ted Abernethy, Dr. Craig Reese, and Professor Lloyd Mitchell in the St. Thomas University School of Business. The three professors were searching for a way to make the Fronton a reality by utilizing an existing space at the Fernandez Family Center. Upon learning of the idea, Dr. Agatha Ogazón, a longtime professor in STU’s School of Business, generously stepped forward with the initial gift for the Fronton.
Dr. Agatha Ogazón and her husband, the late Dr. Tomas Ogazón, were both professors at St. Thomas University for decades, having come to Miami from Universidad de Santo Tomas de Villaneuva in Havana, Cuba. The Ogazón family wanted to give back to St. Thomas University with a lasting contribution toward an entity that would be used for years to come. The prospect of contributing toward a facility where
racquet sports could be played was especially exciting to Dr. Agatha Ogazón, who was taught to play as a child in Cuba by her father, and continued playing the sport throughout her youth.
Additional gifts came from Dr. Reese and Dr. Abernethy, along with a grant from the United States Squash Association to complete the project. Dr. Abernethy worked diligently to ensure certification as an USSA-sanctioned facility.
The front and side walls of the existing room were replaced with heavy wood paneling while a high-impact glass back wall was erected with a special entry door to create a smooth playing surface. A small gallery was also created behind the glass back wall for spectators and those waiting to play.
The decision was made to use the name “Fronton” for the facility, which is what racquet courts are referred to in Cuba, and throughout Latin America. The Ogazón Family Fronton was sanctioned by the United States Squash Association in 2015, making it the nation’s only newly constructed sanctioned facility that year. The Fronton is one of only three sanctioned courts in Miami-Dade County.
Students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to play sports such as squash, racquetball, and handball in the Ogazón Fronton. Equipment to play the various racquet sports is available for check-out at the front desk of the Fernandez Family Center for Leadership and Wellness. Moreover, an Indoor Racquet Sports, class taught by Dr. Abernethy, is offered every semester for undergraduate students.
For more information, or to play racquet sports in the Ogazón Family Fronton, please visit the front desk of the Fernandez Family Center.