Cynthia Paul, a Princeton softball student-athlete from the Class of 1994, and her husband, Scott Levy, have made a gift — a Princeton Athletics record for an Athletics alumna — that will help build a new softball stadium on the Lake Campus, the planned University development on the south side of Lake Carnegie.
“Cynthia and Scott have been devoted supporters of Princeton Athletics, and when the opportunity arose for the softball team to relocate their home field, they embraced the chance to propel the program to the next level,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan ’91, the Ford Family Director of Athletics.
“The new softball field will be the first Princeton athletic field to be named by an alumna, and as we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of women’s sports at Princeton, Cynthia and Scott’s gift is a testament to five decades of excellence and to the value of the department’s mission of ‘Education through Athletics.’ We could not be more grateful for their leadership and having their name associated with our athletic facilities is a great honor for the Princeton community.”
Cynthia grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She decided to apply to Princeton after attending the Tigers’ summer softball camp as a high school student where she met then-head coach, Cindy Cohen. As a child, Cynthia played Little League with the boys. “After watching me throw and catch during my first tryout, several coaches wanted ‘Paul Cynthia’ to play on their team,” Cynthia said. “However, when my dad took off my baseball cap and said this is Cynthia Paul — not Paul Cynthia — only one coach still wanted me. I didn’t care. I just wanted to play. I was happy to have a shot. After playing for a season, it was a lot easier getting on teams because the coaches and boys realized I could help them win. The business world has been the same for me in a lot of ways.”
At Princeton, Cynthia was a member of the softball team that won the 1991 Ivy League championship. Today, she is the founder and chief investment officer of Lynrock Lake LP, an investment management firm based in Rye Brook, New York.
“I think sports build self-confidence, and especially for women 30 or 40 years ago, athletics were a place where it was okay to be strong-willed, confident, to have your own individual opinions, and to be a leader, while also recognizing the importance of being a team player,” said Cynthia. “I am grateful to the softball program for my Princeton experience and for the skills I acquired both on and off the field, and I am honored to be a small part of helping more female scholar-athletes benefit from a Princeton education, which can be life-altering.”
For the past 35 years, the Tigers played softball games at the Class of 1895 Field, adjacent to the soccer stadium and the Poe intramural fields. The Tigers won 17 Ivy League titles during that span. They also advanced to 10 NCAA tournaments and two Women’s College World Series in 1995 and 1996.
The new field, which Cynthia and Scott will name, will be paired with new tennis and squash facilities to form the beginning of the Lake Campus. The softball park will feature synthetic turf, a Hilltopper pitcher’s mound, stadium seating, a press box and concourse, batting cages, and a new scoreboard. The adjacent racquet center will include locker rooms for the softball team, coaches’ offices, an athlete lounge, study spaces, and strength training and sports medicine facilities.
“I am so grateful for this deeply meaningful gift that will allow for us to build a new stadium at Lake Campus,” said Princeton softball coach Lisa Van Ackeren, a two-time Ivy League Coach of the Year. “The quality of the space in which we train and compete impacts our student-athletes on a daily basis, and Cynthia is ushering in a new era of Princeton Softball by providing us with a facility that reflects the championship standard and legacy of success that she and our alumnae helped build.”