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Sustained Legacy

CU Evans Scholar alum honors chapter's 'founding fathers' by endowing scholarships for Campbell, Brinkerhoff, McClintock

by Gary Baines - 12/6/2017

There are many people who deserve credit for nurturing the Evans Scholarship for caddies at the University of Colorado over the last 50-plus years. But if you're looking for the people truly responsible for building the foundation for the program in the 1960s, a good place to start is a photograph that appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper on Sunday, March 9, 1969.

That day, the paper devoted a full page to the March 6, 1969 dedication of what was then known as the Eisenhower-Evans Chapter House for the CU Evans Scholars at 1029 Broadway in Boulder.

One of the photos the newspaper ran to accompany the story was of three gentlemen who presided over the festivities that day: Richard Campbell, the president of the CGA; M.H. "Sonny" Brinkerhoff, the CGA's chapter house committee chairman; and Dr. Homer McClintock, the scholarship chairman of the CGA. (A reproduction of that Daily Camera photo is below, with, from left, Brinkerhoff, Campbell and McClintock.)

Which brings us to an ongoing effort by a CU Evans Scholar alum -- who wishes to remain anonymous -- and his wife to remember and honor those "founding fathers" of the caddie scholarship program at CU. The full tuition and housing Evans Scholarship -- now worth an average $100,000 if renewed for four years -- is awarded to high-achieving caddies with limited financial means. About 965 Evans Scholars are currently in school nationwide, including 62 at CU. Evans Scholars alumni number 10,617, dating back to the 1930s, including 462 from CU.

That aforementioned CU E.S. alum, who was among those on hand during that dedication of the CU Evans Scholars House in 1969, established "Endowed Named Scholarships" at CU through the Illinois-based Evans Scholars Foundation in the names of Campbell and Brinkerhoff almost six years ago. Both Campbell and Brinkerhoff have been inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame and they and McClintock are all CGA Governors Emeritus.

When recently learning about the considerable role McClintock also played -- through reading McClintock's obituary following the doctor's recent death just shy of his 100th birthday -- the alum decided to fund another Endowed Named Scholarship. He did so through the ESF and the Western Golf Association, which adminsters the scholarship nationwide in partnership with state/regional golf associations such as the CGA and CWGA. Through CGA and CWGA bag-tag sales and Par Club contributions, Colorado donors fully fund the year-to-year scholarship costs of the CU Evans Scholars.

Each Endowed Named Evans Scholarship is started with a donation of $125,000, which provides interest to fund the scholarship on an ongoing basis. The people who donate are told who are the designated recipients of Endowed Named Scholarships. For instance, Michael O'Hearne is the Brinkerhoff ENS and fellow CU Evans Scholar Charles Smith is the Campbell ENS.

The WGA said there are about 200 Endowed Named Scholars nationwide, with McClintock being the seventh from CU.

As for his reason for funding scholarships in the names of Campbell, Brinkerhoff and McClintock -- all of whom have passed away -- the person responsible said, "I just think it's good for all Colorado Scholars -- and maybe all Scholars around the country -- to know the history of one of the chapter houses.

"I knew Sonny and Dick reasonably well. Both were really visible (in their ongoing support of the program at CU). They were at the house frequently, along with Homer. I didn't know Homer well, if at all. I knew the name and of his involvement. His contribution was huge to what was then the Eisenhower-Evans Scholarship program."

One of the people who is especially appreciative of the donor's motives is CGA executive director Ed Mate. Not only does Mate see it from the perspective of the staff leader of an organization which devotes considerable resources to support the Evans Scholarship, but he is a former CU Evans Scholar himself. And he caddied at Denver Country Club, where Campbell was a longtime member. (Both Brinkerhoff and McClintock were members at Cherry Hills Country Club.)

"I was a history major," Mate said. "I appreciate history at least as much as most. It's really fitting to honor these individuals that are key founding fathers of the Evans Scholarship at CU. Endowed Scholarships create opportunities to recognize them in perpetutiity so that they're not forgotten."

Campell (pictured at top with Evans Scholars Kevin Laura, Charlie Trafton, Terry Brynes and Bill Pierson during the mid-1980s) was the longest-serving president in CGA history, holding that volunteer position from 1961 to '72. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 1980. Campbell accomplished much during his years as president of the CGA, including helping orchestrate the association's merger with the Denver District Golf Associaton, thus bringing all state championships under the CGA's purview, and making handicaps and course ratings more uniform and accurate statewide. Campbell passed away in 1994.

In 1961, Campbell and the CGA established the Eisenhower Scholarship -- after getting the OK from former U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower -- and awarding it to selected college-bound junior golfers and deserving caddies.

The CGA merged the Eisenhower Scholarship with the WGA's Evans Scholarship for caddies in 1963, and for the next several years the Scholars were housed at various locales around campus. In November 1968 a house for the Eisenhower-Evans Scholars at CU was purchased for $89,000, with Campbell, Brinkerhoff and McClintock all playing key roles. (In an interesting golf-related tidbit, the Evans Scholars bought the five-level house previously occupied by the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, where future World Golf Hall of Famer Hale Irwin lived during the 1965-66 school year. The house, across the street from the university, was constructed during World War I and was completed in the spring of 1917.)

"Was it a mess," the Evans Scholar alum who's endowing the three founding father scholarships remembers concerning the condition of the house. "That house had rooms that were painted black. It was trashed. We (the Scholars) worked our butts off, cleaning and painting. We put a lot of elbow grease in."

After it was brought up to speed, the dedication came on March 6, 1969. Attending the festivities that day were more than 100 people, including most of the 45 Scholars at the time, officials from the CGA, the WGA and CU, along with Scholar parents. In addition, the Selection Committee that day interviewed 20 applicants for Evans Scholarships.

From the 1960s to 2011, the scholars at CU were called Eisenhower-Evans Scholars. But since 2011, the scholarship at CU has been known as the Evans Scholarship, Eisenhower Chapter.

Like Campbell, Brinkerhoff served as president of the CGA, serving in that role in 1978 and '79. A club president at Cherry Hills during the 1960s, Brinkerhoff for almost a quarter-century oversaw the maintenance and improvement projects at the house on behalf of the WGA and CGA. During his time as CGA president, Brinkerhoff played a key role in the smooth separation of adminstrative functions between the CGA and the Colorado PGA. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2006. A longtime prominent figure in the oil and gas business, Brinkerhoff died in late 2011 at age 91.

"I remember they were replacing the carpet out at Cherry Hills, and Sonny arranged while I was in school to have the good parts of the carpet they took up at Cherry Hills put into the Scholars house," the donor said. "It was essentially new carpet from Sonny scavenging for us. We thought it was great. I was just a young kid and probably a little in awe of these older, successful businessmen."

McClintock, a longtime neurosurgeon after serving as a Navy physician in the Pacific during World War II, was a member of the CGA Board of Governors from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, a time when the association was greatly expanding its reach and services. In addition, he was the club president at Cherry Hills in 1963 and '64, and in 1977, and received a lifetime membership in the Colorado PGA in 1977.

While McClintock did plenty in golf, the Evans Scholarship held a special place in his heart, as he indicated in an interview last year. Not surprisingly, when McClintock passed away in October, the family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations in McClintock's memory be made to the Evans Scholarship, care of the CGA. (McClintock's grandson, Keane, is a CU Evans Scholar after caddying at Cherry Hills.)

"The Evans Scholars program is really good, and it was run in the best way possible," Homer McClintock told last year. "The selection meetings (in which scholarship finalists are interviewed) are always very interesting, understanding what some of these kids have gone through to get the scholarship. It's fascinating and unbelievable.

"It's such a great opportunity (for caddies). They don't just get tuition, but they become part of a program that's great."

The E.S. alum endowing the CU scholarships knows that Campbell, Brinkerhoff and McClintock all dealt with many other golf-related issues besides the Evans Scholarship while serving on the CGA board, but the caddies were particulary important to them.

"I just don't want people to forget these guys," the alum said. "Much after the Scholars (of the 1980s), they don't know really who we owe the Colorado program to. To my knowledge, it was those three. I'm sure there were other people involved, but these were great guys, dedicated to the program. They were interested in all things CGA, but you could tell their biggest interest was the Evans Scholars. That's what they talked about most and thought about first."

Nowadays, of course, others are mainstays in their support of the CU Evans Scholars. In fact, last year, 47 years after the initial dedication of the Evans Scholars house at CU, a re-dedication was held after a $6 million renovation and expansion was conducted on the house. That project was overseen by an Evans Scholar alum (from the University of Michigan), Rick Polmear, a former CGA president who, coincidentally, took over as de facto chapter house committee chairman in 1990 from Brinkerhoff.

Among the alums the CU Evans Scholars have produced over the decades are Colorado Golf Hall of Famers Tom Woodard and Mark Crabtree; brothers George and Geoff "Duffy" Solich, who lent their name to the Solich Caddie & Leadership Academy; talk-show host and attorney Dan Caplis; Mate; retired Ernst & Young partner and business executive Rob Foss; former CGA president Kevin Laura, the CEO of the Colorado Open Golf Foundation and president of Green Valley Ranch Golf Club; businessman Randall Thompson; Terry Byrnes, vice president of total service for Caesars Entertainment; and Bob Webster, a former longtime WGA state chairman for Colorado.

All in all, it's quite a legacy for these rightfully dubbed founding fathers of the CU Evans Scholars program.

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