Mrs. Olive Johnson '43 McLendon - 1993 A Award Recipient
Bio from 1993
We honor, Mrs. Olive Johnson McLendon, a Kentucky native; one whose commitment to Asbury College was firmly rooted during her teen years at the Asbury Academy. Growing up in the Wilmore Methodist Church parsonage made the transition to Asbury a natural choice.
Mrs. Olive McLendon took seriously the task of having fun on campus. A run through the year book revealed a full line-up of student pursuits—athletics, music, the yearbook staff, campus newspaper, ministry groups, Big Sisters, Who’s Who the senior year, even ping-pong champion twice!
In the midst of those dark war years, a college diploma opened the way for a teaching position in the Lexington schools. Across these 50 years in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Mrs. McLendon continues to make her mark on her community, church and alma mater. Volumes are written about her leadership in the United Methodist Church—President of United Methodist Women on every level: the southeast Jurisdiction, the Kentucky Conference and the Lexington District as well as her own local church.
Such leadership has placed this friend on numerous supervisory boards of Methodist agencies all across the nation:
- The Board of Global Ministries in New York
- The Board of Trustees, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
- Red Bird Mission and Henderson Settlement in Appalachia
- Paine College of Georgia
- Lydia Patterson Institute in Texas
- Hinton Rural Life Center in North Carolina
- Sue Bennett College here in Kentucky
- Ewha Women’s College in Korea
- The ACTS Board, a cable television network for Christian broadcasting in Nashville.
She gave significant leadership for Methodism including elected membership in the Kentucky conference, the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference, and the past four international conferences of World Methodism.
Mrs. McLendon eared the distinguished Governor’s “Kentucky Colonel” Award for her service to the Girl Scouts, Lexington’s Good Samaritan Hospital, higher education, Kentucky Mountain Missions, Church Women United in Lexington, and radio broadcasting on Christian radio.
Devotion to her College has also been etched in her service record. Her volunteer work with the phonathon, service to the Alumni Board, leadership as President of the Alumni Association all indicate a passion for Asbury. The greatest investment to Asbury, however, has been her three daughters born to her and her husband, William McLendon.
Life for this noted Asburian has indeed been extremely busy—the pages of the 1943 yearbook certainly forecasted a compassionate spirit of one who wanted to give the finest possible to life. Johnson Cafeteria is named in honor of her parents, Sarah and Zachary Taylor Johnson. We honor Olive Johnson McLendon, member of the 1943 class, for her achievement to the church, the community and to Asbury College.