Western Kentucky turfgrass student wins second straight Mendenhall Award

By |  September 20, 2023 0 Comments
(Photo courtesy of Elliott Pope)

(Photo courtesy of Elliott Pope)

Elliott Pope, a student at Western Kentucky University, is the repeat winner of the Mendenhall Award of $6,000 in the 2023 Scholars Competition offered through the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

The award recognizes outstanding students working toward careers in golf course management or other related areas of the industry.

The scholarships range from $250 to $6,000. Applicants must be enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program in a major field related to turf management, have completed at least 24 credit hours or the equivalent of one year of full-time study of the appropriate major and be a member of GCSAA.

“Being awarded the Mendenhall scholarship was such a great honor last year, and I am extremely excited to receive the award again this year,” Pope said. “This award will help me finish my degree in turf and golf course management at Western Kentucky University this year (a year early) and help to prepare me to begin my career as a golf course superintendent.”

Pope has had a longstanding passion for the game of golf since childhood. From playing golf to drawing golf course designs during his free time as a child, his appreciation for the game has grown with him. He realized early on in high school that becoming a golf course superintendent was the career path he wanted to follow.

Pope has worked at Columbia Country Club in Columbia, S.C., and The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green, Ky., and held internships at The Tree Farm in Aiken, S.C., and Maidstone Club in East Hampton, N.Y.

The top award of the GCSAA Scholars Competition is named for the late Chet Mendenhall, who was a charter member of GCSAA, a past president (1948) and recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award (1986). Along with this award, Pope will also receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, Feb. 6-9, in Orlando.

Other award winners are:

  • Luke Bennett, University of Tennessee, Scholars Award, $2,500
  • Zac Kelly, Michigan State University, Scholars Award, $2,500
  • Hunter King, Penn State University, Scholars Award, $2,500
  • Diego Barandiaran, Sevilla, Spain, Penn State University, Ambassador Award, $2,000
  • Andrew Dorland, Michigan State University, Scholars Award, $1,500
  • Michael Doyle, Michigan State University, Scholars Award, $1,500
  • Evan Gerhard, Penn State University, Scholars Award, $1,500
  • Gavin Lyons, Penn State World Campus, Scholars Award, $1,000
  • Camden Macek, Penn State University, Scholars Award, $1,000
  • Zachary Olowniuk, Michigan State University, Scholars Award, $1,000
  • Benjamin Casella, Delaware Valley University, Merit Award, $500
  • Ryan King, Penn State University, Merit Award, $500
  • Simon Wattier, Penn State University, Merit Award, $500
  • Edward Wetherell, Penn State University, Merit Award, $500

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