McLendon Foundation to Hold Inaugural Leadership Weekend in Lexington

McLendon Foundation to Hold Inaugural Leadership Weekend in Lexington

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CONTACT: Adrien Harraway  |  |  (434) 981-0324

LEXINGTON – The McLendon Foundation is set to host its Inaugural Leadership Weekend, Presented by McDonald’s and the NCAA. The event is taking place August 26-28, with support from the University of Kentucky (UK) and G3 Marketing. More than 60 individuals from across the country are expected to attend, including several 2020-21 McLendon Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients and Minority Leadership Initiative (MLI) Future Leaders.

The purpose of the McLendon Leadership Weekend is to provide the Foundation’s scholars and future leaders an exclusive setting to engage in pertinent educational sessions, build a community of principled leaders and create synergy to develop relationship capital amongst participants.

“The Inaugural McLendon Leadership Weekend will provide the opportunity for the Foundation to invest further in the young people who have been involved in our programming over the course of the last year as scholars and future leaders, and we are very fortunate now to be able to gather together in person,” said Adrien Harraway, Director of the McLendon Foundation and Vice President at NACDA. “The Leadership Weekend will serve as a culminating experience for members of last year’s scholarship class and MLI cohort, and a kickoff orientation for those just beginning the program for the upcoming academic year.”

Coach John Calipari (University of Kentucky) and Coach Tommy Amaker (Harvard University), Co-Chairmen of the MLI, will speak to attendees as part of the agenda highlighted by prominent speakers and leaders in business and sports, with most sessions taking place at UK’s Rupp Arena.

“When we set out just over a year ago to establish the McLendon Minority Leadership Initiative the hope was to create access and opportunity,” Calipari said. “With more than 80 coaches involved nationally, dozens of success stories of Future Leaders taking the next step in their careers and $1.5 million in funding, we have set the foundation for what we want this program to look like. This weekend will be another step in raising the bar and ensure we continue to create real opportunity to elevate talented young women and men of color. I am looking forward to meeting with our next class of Future Leaders and getting year two off to a great start.”

Operating within the values of Integrity, Education, Leadership and Mentorship, the McLendon Foundation offers two programs with one goal: Create access and opportunity for minorities.

·         The Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Program offers eight (8) $10,000 postgraduate scholarships to minority candidates who are planning to pursue a master’s degree in athletics administration or sport management. Over $1,245,000 in scholarship funds have been awarded since the Foundation’s inception in 1999.

·         In July 2020, the Minority Leadership Initiative (MLI) started as a coach-driven program to create access to and opportunity for meaningful employment experience for minority candidates and enhancing their career options. Originally funded by collegiate coaches (MLI Ambassadors), the MLI is a one-year program open to candidates with a Bachelor’s degree. The initiative has drawn more than 80 coaches nationally from a variety of sports to serve as both ambassadors and be the primary source of funding. The MLI eclipsed $1.5 million in funding this spring, and just announced a new expansive partnership with McDonald’s to fuel the significant growth of the MLI Future Leaders class from year one to year two.

An overview of the McLendon Foundation and the MLI participants for 2020-21 can be found here. Applications for the 2021-22 MLI Cohort are now being accepted – to view available opportunities, click here.

About the McLendon Foundation

The McLendon Foundation, established in 1999, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded and administered by NACDA. Through the scholarship program and leadership initiative, the McLendon Foundation provides minorities educational resources, practical experiences and serves as a vehicle for networking, career advancement and advocacy on behalf of the profession. More information regarding the McLendon Foundation can be found at