For Tom Ahrensfeld, Trinity-Pawling was the perfect fit. “I was an only child and my parents traveled a lot for business. T-P gave me a ton of brothers, excellent sports, and a great education over four years.” Ahrensfeld made the varsity tennis team as a freshman, coached by Walt Adams and Dave Erdmann. Erdmann also coached Ahrensfeld in JV hockey.

“Our tennis team went undefeated from the middle of my sophomore year straight through my senior season. We were 24-0, a real dynasty. Fortunately, Dave Erdmann kept us focused and our heads straight. He drilled us hard and was a conditioning guru.” The 1973 tennis team was inducted into the Trinity-Pawling Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

Ahrensfeld and his classmates Jeff Kronemeyer and Dick Hilmer were elected co-captains for their senior year, and Ahrensfeld served as the Erdmann’s proctor on Dunbar dorm. “Over those four years, Dave Erdmann and his wife, Sue, became surrogate parents to me,” Ahrensfeld recalls. “Rarely a day goes by when I don’t think of something Dave said or taught me. It’s amazing how one person can have such a lasting impact on someone.”

When Marlynn and Bill Scully ’57 had the new tennis courts built in 2013, Ahrensfeld realized the adjacent pavilion provided a perfect opportunity to honor the legacy of coaches Walt Adams and Dave Erdmann. Thanks to his generosity, that handsome brick building is now named the Adams Erdmann Tennis Pavilion. At the Friday evening dedication ceremony during Reunion Weekend, Ahrensfeld and his co-captains Dick Hilmer and Jeff Kronemeyer offered heartfelt gratitude for the contributions of their coaches, both of whom are deceased. Sue Erdmann was present and warmly welcomed by the tennis alumni.

Following the ceremony, Ahrensfeld reflected on the depths of his Trinity-Pawling connection. “I’ve always considered Trinity-Pawling home. My dad was one of Phil Smith’s original board members in the mid 1970s, and I have been honored to serve in that same role since 2012 under Arch Smith and now Bill Taylor.” Ahrensfeld returned to campus for his 45th reunion in late September. “We had 21 members of our class show up, which is pretty impressive. It doesn’t matter how many years pass between visits because friendships rekindle quickly. Once a T-P brother, always a brother.”