David R. Mauritson Memorial Scholarship Established

Ron Cioffi | May 04, 2021

The Southern Tennis Foundation (STF), the charitable arm of United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section, announces the establishment of the David R. Mauritson Memorial Scholarship.


His wife of nearly 43 years, Eleanora, of Fairhope, Ala., donated $30,000 to the foundation to support an annual $1,000 scholarship beginning this year.


DaQuarris Poole, of Huntsville, Ala. and Columbia High School, was selected as the first scholarship recipient and plans to attend Alabama A&M.


Mauritson was an accomplished cardiologist practicing from 1981 until his retirement in 2012.  After graduating from Westminster College magna cum laude, with a triple major in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Biology, he attended Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1974. 

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Left - A memorial plaque that is displayed at the Mike Ford Tennis Center, Fairhope, AL. Top - from left: David & Eleanora Mauritson, Former USTA Southern President Paula Hale, Leslie & USTA Southern President & CEO Randy Jackson. Bottom - David with his airplane.

His residency was in Internal Medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, and he went on to complete two fellowships: in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care at the University of California, San Francisco, and in Cardiovascular Disease at Parkland in Dallas. Upon moving to Tuscaloosa, he founded Cardiology Associates of West Alabama, P.C., in 1981. He was also honored with the Kern Wildenthal Research Award in 1981. He volunteered as a cardiologist at the Alabama Free Clinic. 


He served as Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, for the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, from 1981-2000, and in 1986 received the Patrick McCue Award for the best teacher of clinical medicine. He was a Fellow in the American College of Physicians, American College of Cardiology and the American College of Legal Medicine.


He broadened his skills in 2008 when he graduated as salutatorian of the Birmingham (Ala.) School of Law and passed the Alabama State Bar. He was admitted to the Federal District Court in three Alabama districts.


An avid pilot, David began flying in 1965 with his mother, Jan, as his flight instructor. He logged more than 11,000 hours, was certified as a flight instructor in 1989, was a certified airline transport pilot (ATP) and elected as president of the national Flying Physicians Association, 2011-12. He was a volunteer pilot and instructor with the rank of major for the Civil Air Patrol, along with volunteering for Angel Flight Southeast and SouthWings. 


He was awarded the SouthWings 2015 Visionary Award, which has since been renamed in his honor as the Mauritson Award. His years of dedicated service earned him Honorary Emeritus status.


Mauritson was on a flight for Angel Flight Southeast when he tragically died in a plane crash in Mobile, Ala, in 2016.


Mauritson was the Missouri College Athletic Union springboard diving champion, 1967-1970. He played on his high school tennis team, beginning a life-long love of the sport. He served as the Fairhope Tennis Association president and was instrumental in getting six hydro clay courts built at the Mike Ford Tennis Center. He became a USTA certified official and planned to expand his officiating career.     


Here are remembrances:

Meredith Dowling, the Executive Director of SouthWings:

“David Mauritson’s understated but truly extraordinary dedication as a volunteer pilot remains an inspiration to everyone at our organization. How he did it all, I will never know. His quiet, steadfast commitment to the causes he cared about have left a better world. Even as the years pass, I continue to find new results from the ripples he set in motion with the flights he took as a volunteer for SouthWings.”


Eleanora Mauritson, wife, serves as a foundation trustee and has served for decades as a USTA volunteer on the local, state, sectional and national level. She served as the USTA Awards Committee Chair from 2017-2020, and on the USTA Southern Board as an At-Large Member from 2011-12 and Secretary from 2013-14:

“Dave had an insatiable thirst to learn and was truly a Renaissance man. He played the baritone and trumpet in the Baldwin Pops Band, volunteered as a cardiologist at the Alabama Free Clinic, was an Eagle Scout, a Rhodes Scholar finalist, and particularly loved teaching the Civil Air Patrol glider camp cadets for two weeks every summer for many years. He couldn’t seem to do enough, learn enough, or get enough out of life. He excelled at anything he did. He was brilliant, compassionate, athletic, musical, and had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I can’t think of a better way to acknowledge his life-long love of learning and tennis than through this scholarship.”   


Eric Mauritson, son, who played high school varsity tennis and is currently playing in his local USTA 3.5 Men’s League in Tampa. He is an instrument rated private pilot; his father was his flight instructor:

"Dad was a consummate educator. For as much as he loved learning, I think he might have enjoyed sharing his knowledge even more. He made a difference in so many people’s lives that trying to sum up his contributions in a few sentences will never be adequate. I’m so proud of my dad and I miss him tremendously. Continuing Dad’s legacy as a patient, kind, and prodigious educator is what this scholarship will mean to me."


Amy Mauritson, daughter, a MD is a third-generation physician and practices internal medicine. Her father was also her flight instructor, classmate in SCUBA certification, and role model for being a physician:

“His accomplishments were diverse and numerous, but the last person you would hear it from was my father. He would quietly help others, volunteer time, donate money. There are likely many things he did for others that no one will ever know. This scholarship is another way to carry on that legacy, but we aren't going to let him get away with being anonymous, this time. One of the most special times I had with him was when he served as my attending physician during residency for an international elective in Maseno, Kenya. We worked side by side as volunteer physicians in a rural hospital. It is time I will always cherish, teaching and learning together.”


Alice Henderson, Executive Vice-President, Flying Physicians Association, Inc.:

“Dr. David Mauritson distinguished himself among his fellow physician-pilots, always surprising them! His father was among the first members of the Flying Physicians Association, and Dave was always known as one of the best pilots. Dave Mauritson was not a boisterous person, so when other FPA members learned that he had also earned a law degree, they were congratulatory and surprised that someone with his experience as a successful cardiologist would return to school! He was also among the most active in supporting charitable work, using his plane selflessly to serve patients needing treatments in other locations and flying countless environmental survey missions to protect the rivers and estuaries, and joining his daughter on an extended mission in Africa. David Mauritson brought people together, and that was not a small feat among the physicians, ranging from free-thinking progressives to the most conservative. He instinctively knew that everyone could find common ground, and his own open, accepting friendship with everyone nurtured fellowship and camaraderie among these men and women that instilled that confidence in everyone. It speaks volumes when one person brings people from polar opposites together, to laugh good-naturedly about their differences and to admire and treat each other with respect. That was David Mauritson.” 


Mike McNulty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President:

“Dave was a Renaissance Man who possessed so many talents and areas of knowledge. He led and excelled in everything he did. Doctor, lawyer, educator, pilot, musician, husband and father. Dave loved life and lived his life helping and improving the lives of others, not only in his professions, but his broad charitable work where he impacted so many people in need. As a pilot and doctor, Dave piloted his plane to transport patients in need of treatments throughout the country and was on an “angel flight” at the time of his tragic crash. Dave was loved and admired by all and left his mark by making the world better.” 


Collin Rust, local tennis player:

We had only moved to Fairhope a few months before the accident, but in that period, I worked with him in organizing events for the Fairhope Tennis Association. I really enjoyed playing doubles with him and against him.  David liked to play but I could tell he liked the camaraderie and fellowship even more.  He was always quick to give credit to his partner and to compliment his opponents.“

The foundation awards 10 annual scholarships of $1,000 to incoming college freshmen. The STF’s scholarship committee determines which recipient will be awarded the David R. Mauritson Memorial Scholarships.


Each student will receive $1,000 to help offset the expenses of his or her first year of school. The awards will continue for three additional years provided the recipient remains a student in good standing, giving each scholarship a total value of $4,000. To qualify for these scholarships students must demonstrate financial need and must have participated in tennis for at least two of their high school years, either on a school team or through tournaments, National Junior Tennis & Learning, Junior Team Tennis or other USTA programs. The primary consideration in awarding the scholarships will be academic performance and potential, but community service and sportsmanship will also be considered. Here is the link to apply.

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