Helping More Contribute To Society
“Columbia is a great mechanism for learning,” says Tracy Maitland CC'82. “The criteria, however, for attending this great school should not be that you are wealthy, but that you have earned a place through hard work.”
In February 2015, at the annual Dean’s Scholarship Reception, Tracy Maitland CC’82 addressed a crowd in Roone Arledge Auditorium that included more than 400 scholarship donors — of which he is one — and their student recipients. “Columbia is a great mechanism for learning,” he said. “The criteria, however, for attending this great school should not be that you are wealthy, but that you have earned a place through hard work.”
The conviction Maitland expressed that winter evening was impressed upon him by his father. A prominent New York City surgeon, the late Dr. Leo Maitland tended to a celebrity clientele that included jazz legend Miles Davis, but also offered his services to low-income patients.
“I’d go [to his office] on a Saturday and there’d be a line out the door because he would treat people whether they could afford to pay or not,” recalls Maitland, president and CEO of Advent Capital Management.
It was largely his father’s example that inspired Maitland to establish the Leo C. Maitland Scholarship Fund for current-use financial aid in 2012. A native of the Bronx who lived in Detroit for several years in the ’80s, Maitland asked that his scholarship be awarded to “talented but needy students who are residents of New York City and/or Detroit, Mich., and are graduates of the public school system, excluding magnet programs.”
Columbia made a big impact on me, and I think it can make a big impact on other folks in developing our society.
“Financial aid is important for everyone to have an opportunity [to get an education] regardless of their parents’ financial background,” says Maitland, who, prior to establishing the named scholarship donated generously to the John Jay Scholarship Fund. “It is important for this country that people who want to learn and contribute to society have the opportunity to do so.”
For Maitland, establishing the scholarship was also a fitting way to honor the man he thought of not only as a parent, but also a friend. He credits his father with his decision to stay in New York and attend the College. “He gave me terrific guidance and helped me hone my judgement skills,” says Maitland. “He was very thoughtful. He was a surgeon, but he was also an entrepreneur because he had a private practice. And he really understood the value of New York.”
An economics major at the College, Maitland founded Advent Capital Management in 1995. Black Enterprise Magazine has twice named him one of the “Most Powerful on Wall Street.” He attributes his success to having stayed in the Big Apple and having access to Columbia alumni, with whom he began connecting in his senior year as advertising manager for The Columbian yearbook. “That gave me insight to the Columbia network and how powerful it can be in terms of guidance,” he says.
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