The Troy University family is mourning the loss of long-time supporter and former PGA Tour professional Benson “Mac” McLendon, who passed away on July 4.
In 2001, McLendon and his wife, Joan, established the Lance Robert McLendon Foundation in memory of their son, Lance, a Sorrell College of Business graduate who died at age 29 from Crohn’s Disease. The scholarship they established has helped more than 100 students pursuing a business degree who have significant financial need and come from challenging life circumstances with scholarships totaling more than $750,000.
In 2020, McLendon wrote a book about his experiences as a professional golfer, and all the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the Foundation.
“The McClendon Scholars Program annually provides scholarships to business students with significant financial need and often come from challenging life circumstances. Each year as Dean, it is my honor to participate in the interviews with the McClendon Family to help determine those selected,” said Sorrell College Dean Dr. Judson Edwards. “It is honestly one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever been a part of in my professional career. It reminds me of why we are here as educators, to lift up others who work hard for that special opportunity, get it, graduate, and lead happy and rewarding lives. Mac, Joan, Amy, and Jason, in Lance’s honor, have made a life-changing impact on each of these students.”
The McLendon Foundation has also helped TROY in various other ways over the years, including assisting with the renovation of now-named John Robert Lewis Hall. A classroom in the building is named for Lance.
In the forward of the book, McLendon wrote of his son: “Lance loved Troy University and set his sights on graduating from what he considered ‘his school.’ He did just that. He wanted to be a ‘brother’ of the TROY chapter of the Farmhouse Fraternity. He did that also. He wanted to go to Campus Outreach during the summer months to enjoy fellowship with other young people. He did that as well. Lance felt these goals that he set were necessary for him to accomplish his mission and for his life to have true meaning. He successfully reached each of his goals in the very brief 29 years he was with us.”
The McLendon family has asked that memorials be made to the Troy University Foundation for the Lance Robert McLendon Memorial Scholarship, 301 Adams Administration Building, Troy, AL 36082, or to the Alzheimer’s Association of Alabama. A full obituary may be found online.