For Haywood County resident Lynwood McElroy, education has always been a priority. McElroy has been a supporter of Haywood Community College for many years and even after his death, he remains a strong advocate for those who wish to achieve higher education. As part of his estate, McElroy left the College a gift of over $555,000 to ease the financial burden of those seeking a post high school degree. He died in May 2017.

“Mr. McElroy always had a special interest in education and in our community,” says HCC President Dr. Barbara Parker. “We are grateful for his most generous gift that will enable many students to access higher education for years to come.”

In 1990, McElroy established an endowment at HCC in honor of his wife, Mary Medford McElroy. A native of Haywood County from the Ironduff community, McElroy had degrees from Brevard College, Western Carolina University and Vanderbilt University.

McElroy served in the United States Navy, joining during World War II. He spent 10 years with the Naval Medical Research Unit #2 in the Pacific and 3 years in Korea. He worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Montana and North and South Dakota. He retired as chief financial officer for the St. John’s County Board of Education in Florida, then returned to Haywood County to spend his final years.   

McElroy also devoted countless hours to community organizations. He served on the Friends of the Library board of directors. He was a member of First United Methodist Church of Waynesville and was active in Rotary, Kiwanis, the American Legion and Red Cross. McElroy was instrumental in completion of the old Bald-Balsam Gap section of the Mountain-to-Sea Trail.   

Haywood Community College is grateful for the generous spirit of McElroy and for the countless lives his gift will touch.

For more information on HCC’s Foundation or to make a gift, please email pahardin@haywood.edu or call 828-627-4544.