17 receive scholarships honoring late student

Tu To

Staff Writer

Seventeen students were awarded the Lance Robert McLendon Scholarship for the academic year 2018-2019.

Lance McLendon was a Troy accounting graduate from Birmingham in the class of 1995. He passed away in 2001 due to Crohn’s disease.

According to his mother, Joan McLendon, his family decided to fund different projects including a classroom in Bibb Graves Hall and the McLendon scholarship to honor Lance McLendon  and express his love for Troy.

“We first established this scholarship in the fall semester of 2006,” said Joan McLendon. “The fund started very small but increases every year both in the amount and number of recipients.”

According to Meredith Welch, coordinator of the scholarship, all students are eligible for this scholarship; however, preference is given to undergraduate business majors with a GPA higher than 2.5.

Welch said students must submit an application with an essay describing the need for a scholarship.

“Applications are reviewed, and students are either eliminated due to not meeting criteria, or they are chosen to go forward for an interview,” said Welch. “They are notified after the interview if they will receive the scholarship or not.”

Welch said the amount of the scholarship, depending on the student’s financial situation, can go up to $7,000.

The McLendon family takes part in different processes of the decision, alongside the scholarship committee and chairs of different departments.

Joan McLendon said the scholarship is highly need-based. That’s why the essay is an important factor in deciding whether or not the applicant gets the scholarship.

“Every student has an individual story they tell,” said Joan McLendon. “We always try to get to know the kids and their situations through the interviews.”

Joan McLendon said the award goes to students who might not be able to go to college without some financial assistance.

Over the years, the McLendon family stays in close contact with many of the recipients.

“I give them my cellphone number, my email,” said Joan McLendon. “I’m even friends with them on Facebook.”

“We get more out of it than we give away, and we feel like this is what Lance would do, too.”

Joan McLendon said she really wants to see students succeed.

Courtney Brown, a junior accounting major from Jack, received the award last year and this year.

Brown found out about this scholarship through an email the business college sent out at the beginning of the semester.

Brown said under recent circumstances, her parents can no longer afford to send her to college and pay for her extra expenses such as housing and bills.

“I decided to apply because the monetary amount is what I needed, and it seemed like a prestigious award to have,” said Brown.

After passing the essay round, Brown was invited to an interview with the parents of Lance McLendon, family friends, heads of the business college, foundation scholarship committee and employees.

“The McLendon family truly cares about each recipient and strives for a relationship with each one,” Brown said. “Knowing that I was selected for this scholarship really confirms that Mr. Mac and Mrs. Joan saw something in me.

“I am forever grateful for the McLendon family.”

She plans to save this money to ensure that she will be able to pay for the rest of her schooling, housing and other bills during the rest of her college career.

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