An Over-Achiever’s Advice: Not So Fast
Ocean Road Advisors’ Anthony Meyer urges students to take their time
By MELANIE GRAYCE WEST
Anthony E. Meyer sped through college, graduating from Harvard Business School with an M.B.A. at the age of 22. Now, he wants to encourage students of the Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York to slow down.
Mr. Meyer, the 54-year-old head of New York-based Ocean Road Advisors, an investment-management company, recently gave $1 million to support Macaulay’s Opportunities Fund. The gift will, in part, cover costs for students who study abroad or seek other similar academic fellowships that aim to broaden an undergraduate education.
“I rushed through my schooling and then realized, ‘What was the rush?’ ” he said. “Every chance I’ve had to take a sabbatical, I’ve done it.” Macaulay was launched in 2001 as a way to provide a competitive program to academically gifted high-school graduates. Some 2,000 students are part of Macaulay, pursuing a customized course of study within eight of CUNY’s senior colleges.
Many Macaulay students are the first in their family to attend college. Those who graduate from New York state high schools receive a full-tuition scholarship, and all students get a laptop computer and access to a $7,500 grant from the Opportunities Fund.
Mr. Meyer said he is at the stage in his life where philanthropy is taking a larger role. Previously, he said, he had been “writing much smaller checks.” Now he has decided to spend more time and resources supporting entrepreneurial do-good social ventures, he said. The gift to Macaulay is his first major capital pledge, and from a financial standpoint, he said, “I’ve sort of gotten comfortable.”
Mr. Meyer said he has been involved with Macaulay for about seven years and that the organization is now past its startup phase, with a record of success and ready for a larger presence among New York philanthropists who want to invest in the city’s youth in what he calls an “early stage” entrepreneurial way.
Mr. Meyer said the goal, as the college gets to its 15th year, is to take it to a higher profile and attract more applicants and philanthropists who, for example, are the kind that support charter schools.
“Macaulay is sort of the uber-charter school at the college level,” he said.