Leaders on campus, leaders in their careers, leaders in philanthropy: Derrick ’93 and the Reverend Dr. Tracy Smith ’90 Malone came to North Central College with clear goals, honed their leadership skills and now are living the life they dreamt as young teens.
“I knew at age 13 that the Lord was calling me to be a leader of people and in the church,” says Tracy, now senior pastor at Gary Memorial United Methodist Church in Wheaton, IL.
“I always knew I wanted my own business,” says Derrick, owner of a State Farm Insurance agency in Chicago.
On campus, Tracy was active with the Multicultural Student Association and she was one of the change agents who initiated the Voices of Praise gospel choir, Gospel Extravaganza and new events for the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also proud that she helped hire the first multicultural affairs director.
“I’d been mentored in my church at home by my dad [the Reverend Willie Smith ’79] and other clergy, and I came to college fully engaged,” says Tracy. “And people like [former campus chaplain] Barbara Isaacs were very supportive and had the relationships on campus to make things happen.”
A marketing major, Derrick says that he honed his leadership skills by playing basketball and serving as a team captain, a skill that came naturally as the oldest of five boys. “I’m a self-driven person,” he says.
Tracy went on to Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and now uses her leadership skills to inspire giving toward church building improvements; to mentor new pastors before they are ordained; and in teaching a class at Northern Seminary in Lombard that prepares new seminarians for ministry. She was honored with a Distinguished Leadership Award by the Black Methodists for Church Renewal and was elected to the 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Derrick is passionate about helping young people and serves as a mentor and tutor for children at a Chicago Public School. He’s led a basketball ministry at a former church and was instrumental in encouraging a cousin, Deangelo Tyler ’12, to visit and enroll at North Central. The couple’s two school-age daughters will probably also learn about the benefits of becoming a Cardinal.
Tracy and Derrick decided to share their success by awarding the first Derrick and Tracy Malone Minority Scholarship to Greg Jackson ’09 for the 2007-2008 academic year. “The scholarship meant a lot to me financially when I was in need,” says Jackson. “I was able to move on campus in order to be in a better situation academically and to get more involved on campus.”
“We’re giving people and we believe so strongly in education, especially the value of good academics,” says Derrick. “We both had student loans and we know there’s an inability to fund education. We’d like to see the African-American student population grow at North Central ... and we want to help make that happen.
North Central Now Annual Report 2008