Another high-profile golf industry partner has stepped forward to support the University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s hospitality and tourism management program.

Troon, a leading international golf course and resort management company, announced a Black History Month initiative to help underrepresented hospitality and professional golf management majors defray college expenses.

The Troon Diversity, Equity and Inclusion program committed to investing $75,000 over the next three years to underwrite scholarships and make internships available to UMES students at more than 625 Troon-managed properties around the world.

“By working with the partners at Troon … the students will expand that particular network that they have to be worldwide and not just nationwide,” UMES President Heidi M. Anderson said.

UMES’ golf management program is under the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, and undergraduates take courses that prepare them for careers at resorts that likely feature hotels and restaurants as well as golf courses.

“The mission of this program … is to obviously help raise the number of African American members in the PGA of America and this is certainly a stepping stone that’s going to help us with deserving students,” said Billy Dillon, program director and an associate professor of golf management.

UMES is the nation’s lone historically Black institution accredited by the PGA of America, which means that in addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, graduates also must pass a “playing ability test” to gain membership in the PGA.

The university was assisted in connecting with Troon by a citizens’ advisory panel of UMES supporters and golfing enthusiasts called the Golf Development Council.

PGA golf management alums Demarkis Cooper (l)
& Langston Frazier with program director Billy Dillon

“Today, we need growth, we need the opportunities, but more importantly we need to make sure we support our students here at UMES,” council member Billy Allen said.

Anthony G. Stepney, the council’s chairman and a PGA Master Professional Senior Advisor, said “there is no doubt … this scholarship will make a difference for our students and ultimately the hospitality industry as a whole.”

UMES athletics director Keith Davidson said “the generosity of Troon will go to directly help the mission of our Professional Golf Management Program and that is to produce a diverse and talented group of professionals in the golf industry.”

“I also want to thank Troon, the Development Council here at Maryland Eastern Shore and President Anderson for her trust in me to help steer this initiative that helps lay the foundation for future golf partnerships that will create jobs and opportunities for our students,” Davidson said.

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