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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Approach Life with a Smile

Jerry Maatman ’78

from The Bridge: Fall/Winter 2011 issue

Gerald "Jerry" Maatman '78Gerald "Jerry" Maatman '78 hasn't forgotten what he learned at W&L from his beloved mentor and golf coach, Emmett G. "Buck" Leslie '49. To celebrate Leslie's impact on his life, Maatman has given $100,000 to endow a scholarship fund honoring the coach.

Leslie served the University from 1960 to 1995, coaching football as the assistant and then head coach until 1972, and then working as head golf coach from 1975 until his retirement.

"The lessons I learned from him and the values he inculcated in me help me every day," says Maatman, a partner with the Chicago law firm Seyfarth Shaw L.L.P. "He approached life with a smile on his face. He taught us that no matter what sort of adversity may befall you, to always look on the positive side of things, to be optimistic and to find the best in people and in your circumstances."

Maatman, who considered Leslie a father figure, says the tribute is fitting because his former coach encouraged student-athletes to put their studies first.

"He was always very concerned and supportive of academics," Maatman says. "If there was anything that would be meaningful to him if he were alive today, it would be to help other students and to give young people the opportunity to attend W&L."