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Endowed Scholarship in Geography
Van McClendon's epiphany came to him late one night in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a naval destroyer—he wanted to become an educated person. Serving in the military during the Vietnam era, McClendon gained a greater appreciation for the United States; thanks to the GI Bill, it also gave him a means to return to A-State.
He ultimately earned a master's degree; a geography class lit a fire for knowledge that he has been able to pass along to his son and ultimately his granddaughter.
McClendon said he is happy to provide a scholarship to A-State in honor of his grandmother, Mrs. Velma Simmons, who showed him unconditional love, kindness and generosity. Those traits are what have motivated him to help deserving students realize their dreams and enjoy a similar excellent experience.