I’m Craig Kendall, the oldest of the four sons of Cliff and Camille Kendall. You may have met me at an event on campus – I’m at USG often with my mom, my brothers, and our families. USG is part of my family, too, as my late father was one of the leaders who first imagined and pushed to make USG a reality. Dad believed that Montgomery County needed a place where students could earn their bachelor’s and graduate degrees and help local businesses succeed. Most of all, my dad believed in people helping people. Dad was, in every sense of the word, a giver.
Like many of the students at USG, both he and my mom faced financial, family and emotional hardships while trying to get through college. Dad was raised by a single mother and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park by going to night school and working two full-time jobs. Mom grew up in a family of five in a two bedroom house, and was only able to go to college after receiving a scholarship. They never forgot their struggle to afford school and how precious it is to have an education. When they were financially secure, they created the Kendall Scholarship program so that others wouldn’t have to worry about how to pay for college.
This past June when the Camille Kendall Academic Center was rededicated as the Clifford & Camille Kendall Academic Center, my family was proud to announce $2 million in new scholarship gifts to USG. Matching gifts by the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation [as part of the Clark Challenge for the Maryland Promise] brought the total gifts to $4 million. My dad would have been very touched by inclusion of his name on the building, but what would have made Dad really smile would be knowing that every person in the USG community followed his lead and pays it forward.
Next Tuesday, December 3rd is Giving Tuesday, a day that encourages people to do good. Follow my dad’s example by contributing to the Kendall Alumni Scholarship for Working Students, the General Scholarship Fund or one of the other worthy scholarships at USG. Dad always said that giving to others is a great thing to do for yourself. Be a giver this Giving Tuesday. Have a great holiday season.