The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management and The McLendon Foundation are proud to announce the creation of the McCormack-McLendon Scholarship, an academic enrichment opportunity that will provide a selected McLendon Scholar tuition-free enrollment in UMass Amherst’s No. 1 globally ranked sport management master’s program. The selected student from the McLendon community will have the option of pursuing either an MBA/MS dual-degree or a one-year MS in Sport Management degree.
The partnership seeks to reinforce the impact and exemplary work already in place via the John McLendon Postgraduate Scholarship Program, which offers eight postgraduate scholarships to candidates from underrepresented backgrounds who are planning to pursue a master’s degree in athletics administration/sport management. To date, the program has awarded more than 145 scholarships, totaling over $1.5 million.
Adrien Harraway, senior vice president of NACDA and director of the McLendon Foundation, commented, “The McLendon Foundation is thrilled to collaborate with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management. This partnership paves the way for a unique experience for a McLendon Scholar, granting the recipient access to The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management master's program, resources, faculty, and alumni. Together, we're fostering the next generation of sports industry leaders.”
Professor Will Norton, McCormack’s director of graduate programs, noted, “We are excited to partner with the McLendon Foundation, which consists of a talented and impressive group of future sports industry leaders. These students represent the values and work ethic that are staples of our industry-leading master’s program, and we believe that investing in scholarship programming for underrepresented groups helps enhance our classroom learning outcomes and strengthens the value of our program. We feel a strong, historical alignment with the stated values of John McLendon – integrity, education, leadership, and mentorship – and I am excited to get to work with past and present McLendon torchbearers.”
The scholarship recipient will be placed in a graduate assistantship at UMass Amherst, which will not only further their understanding of the sports business but will also offer hands-on learning opportunities to supplement their academic growth in the classroom. The McCormack Department currently facilitates assistantship opportunities with UMass Athletics, the Oak View Group (which operates UMass Amherst's Mullins Center), and research and teaching roles in the Isenberg School of Management.
Additionally, McCormack will help facilitate a case study competition at the annual McLendon Leadership Weekend. The case study is an educational and engaging ‘pitch’ style competition that provides McLendon torchbearers a practical, experiential learning assignment amidst a weekend of speakers/panels, networking, and community building. In September 2023, the case was presented to the North Carolina Courage’s co-owner Sara Toussaint, while a panel of judges joined Professor Norton in scoring the student deliverables. The winning team was granted all-access passes to the 2024 NACDA & Affiliates Convention.
The initial three-year partnership between McCormack and the McLendon Foundation kicks off this fall, with scholarship applicants looking towards fall 2024 enrollment in Amherst. Applications for the 2024 scholarship will be open between November 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024.
About the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management
The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the few sport management programs housed within a business school: the Isenberg School of Management. U.S. News & World Report ranks Isenberg as a Top 20 public undergraduate business school, while its online MBA is ranked #5 in the world by Financial Times (2023). The Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management is one of the oldest such programs in the world, and the program’s network includes more than 4,000 sport industry alumni, featuring leaders and innovators within every segment of the commercial sports industry. The department has one of the top undergraduate programs in the country, and its graduate program – consisting of master’s (MS) level as well as dual-degree (MBA/MS) concentrations – is currently ranked #1 in the world by industry standard Sport Business.
About McLendon Foundation
The McLendon Foundation, established in 1999, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded and administered by NACDA. The Foundation honors the legacy of Hall of Fame coach John McLendon who was a pioneer in the field of athletics, the game of basketball, and the civil rights arena. Its mission is to create access and opportunities for historically excluded talent who aspire to impact the sports industry. The Foundation is committed to empowering and developing the next generation of executive leaders in sports through financial resources, a robust educational curriculum and an engaged community of principled leaders. All organizational planning for the Foundation directly aligns with the values of Coach McLendon: Integrity, Education, Leadership and Mentorship. More information regarding the McLendon Foundation can be found at minorityleaders.org and @McLendonScholar.