New endowed scholarship established at Lander

Members of the Upsilon Eta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity donated $10,000 to The Lander Foundation to fund a new endowed scholarship. From left are Upsilon Eta member Warren Bacote; Lander Foundation Executive Director Mike Worley; Upsilon Eta member Robert McClinton; and Upsilon Eta member Cory Plowden.

Members of the Upsilon Eta chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity have established a new endowed scholarship at Lander University.

The scholarship, which is renewable, is open to all majors, with preference given to students from historically underserved backgrounds. Applicants should be either freshmen, sophomores or juniors, have a minimum 2.5 grade point average, be involved in extracurricular activities and demonstrate financial need.

The award, known as the Upsilon Eta Brother Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Scholarship, honors the well-known minister, educator and social activist who was born in Greenwood County and served as mentor to civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Like the Upsilon Eta brothers establishing the scholarship, Mays was himself a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Upsilon Eta member Warren Bacote, a retired U.S. Army colonel who won Lander’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019, said he was “elated” to see the scholarship become a reality.

Other Upsilon Eta members taking leading roles in the creation of the scholarship were U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Cory Plowden, who received Lander’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award in 2011; and the Rev. Robert McClinton, a 1978 graduate of Lander, who serves as pastor of Old Beaverdam Baptist Church in Newberry.

Bacote, a 1989 graduate, and Plowden, a 1999 graduate, both serve on the Board of Directors of the Lander Alumni Association, which fosters continued interest among alumni in activities at Lander.

Mike Worley, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of The Lander Foundation, expressed thanks to Bacote, Plowden and McClinton, and cited several reasons why scholarships are important.

“Scholarships help Lander recruit students and retain them. They add prestige to resumes and help students graduate with less debt. They also generate additional scholarships,” he said.

For information about this scholarship, call the Office of University Advancement by calling 864-388-8350.

Submitted by Jeff Lagrone