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A Life Well Lived: Remembering Cliff Kendall

The legacy of Cliff Kendall is of an individual who changed hundreds of lives. He developed the philanthropic model of a scholarship that follows a deserving student from an associate’s degree at Montgomery College through a bachelor’s degree at the Universities at Shady Grove, also known as a pathway.

Hundreds of students have been given an educated future, as other significant donors have adopted this model. Kendall has always held a dear place in the hearts of those he has helped.

Cliff and Camille Kendall

The entire Montgomery College family was shocked and saddened to learn of Kendall’s untimely death in late March.

Students privileged to have moved on to the Universities at Shady Grove, solely because of the Kendall Scholarship, were devastated to hear about this loss. They knew firsthand that Cliff Kendall and his wife Camille understood the transformational power of education, and had made it their lives’ mission to make education achievable to all students, regardless of their circumstances.

“I will not forget the opportunity that he has provided me and hope to honor his memory by someday providing the same opportunity for others,” Justin Ocha, who has benefitted from the Kendall Scholarship, said upon hearing of his death.

After retiring as President and CEO of Computer Data Systems Inc. (CDSI), a software data processing company he cofounded that grew to more than 4,000 employees, Kendall began focusing his time and energy serving on various local boards that promote programs he considered important. Raised in Washington, DC by a single mother with modest means, he recognized that a college education had transformed his life. Thankful for his access to education and aware that it was a gift, Kendall became committed to helping ensure education was available to all who sought it.

I will not forget the opportunity that he has provided me and hope to honor his memory by someday providing the same opportunity for others

They Kendalls also support several other organizations. Cliff Kendall was one of the founding members of the Montgomery County Community Foundation. He also served as board member and chairman of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland, board member of University of Maryland Foundation, member of the Montgomery College Education Connection, adjunct professor at John Hopkins University, board member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Board of Directors, board member of the George Washington University School of Business, and board member at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Cliff and Camille Kendall

While these positions and successes were important to Kendall, he viewed the creation of the Universities at Shady Grove as perhaps his greatest achievement. The hallmark building on campus is named after the love of his life, Camille.

Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard remarked, “If you took a hard look at Montgomery County, you would see the impact of Kendall’s generosity and vision in the grateful eyes of hundreds of students. He was a guardian angel to many hopeful students who needed his help to make their dreams of education a reality.”

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