US Squash presented Dan Keating the W. Stewart Brauns, Jr. Award—one of the organization’s highest honors—in a ceremony during the 2021 U.S. Open Squash Championships presented by Truist. The W. Stewart Brauns, Jr. Award is given by the US Squash board to a person who has made major administrative, off-the-court contributions to the game of squash.
In an on-court ceremony between semifinal matches, Keating was joined by Soo Venkatesan, Chair of the Board of US Squash, Kevin Klipstein, President & CEO of US Squash, and Ned Edwards, the Executive Director of the Arlen Specter US Squash Center. Edwards spoke warmly of Keating’s contributions to the construction of the world-leading facility: “US Squash had never done anything like it before and halfway through we didn’t know how we were going forward. We met with Dan and he said ‘let me have a look at this.’ He worked with us backwards from the completion date… we had the most trusted confidant to create the Arlen Specter US Squash Center that we could dream of in Dan Keating.”
“I’m beyond honored,” said Keating. “I’m very proud of what we did. This whole effort was the dream of Kevin and Ned with US Squash, John Fry with Drexel University and the Specter family. This building reflects the personality of many people who live the sport, play the sport and enjoy the sport. But in particular Ned Edwards; he was unrelenting in his desire to make the place perfect and that’s the way it is. It’s such a great application of science, fun and sport.”
Daniel J. Keating, III is the executive vice president of Gilbane Building Co. He has been involved in many major construction projects, including the Philadelphia Convention Center, a portion of Philadelphia International Airport and played a central role in developing the Arlen Specter US Squash Center. Significantly, he has been involved in the construction of more than 50 squash courts nationwide. He and his wife Sarah have six children.
He is also an active squash player. “In the best of my days I was below mediocre, but one who entirely loved the game for the last forty plus years,” Keating said. “Squash has saved my life on three occasions, and I mean literally saved it. Everybody has a life story. In that life story many people have challenges they’ve addressed and overcome. In my case I’m a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma twenty years ago. Had I not been in relatively good physical shape through playing squash, I’m not sure my outcome would have provided me the opportunity to receive this award in person today. The treatments I went through really affected my heart and so I had to have open heart surgery. Once again, I had been playing squash and so I went into that procedure fully prepared. Throughout it all, I had the squash court to look forward to everyday at 5:30 to release whatever demons were inside of me. It’s been great. It’s hard to explain to anybody who hasn’t played the game, just how much fun it is and the pleasure you get out of being on that court, hitting that ball and being challenged by the people you’re playing against, and then shaking hands at the end of it and creating friendships that last for a lifetime.”
The W. Stewart Brauns, Jr. Award is given by the US Squash board to a person who has made major administrative, off-the-court contributions to the game of squash. It is named after a longtime dedicated leader of US Squash, Stew Brauns, who was a tournament director, head referee, committee chair and a founder of the World Squash Federation. US Squash has given out the Brauns Award annually since the 1980s. Previous honorees include Jahangir Khan who served as World Squash President for six years, Jay Prince who founded and published Squash Magazine, Danielle Maur, Larry Sconzo, Shabana Khan and most recently Michael Riley.