Longtime Western Golf Association leader dies

Staff Writer
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin

James E. Moore, who dedicated his career to helping thousands of deserving caddies attend college through the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholars Program, passed away recently at age 73.

During his tenure, Moore helped lead the nonprofit’s growth from 600 Scholars in school and 1,000 alumni to having 870 Scholars in school and 9,990 alumni. He served the program for 47 years, longer than any other WGA employee, in several capacities, including as educational director and senior vice president of foundation advancement.

“Our hearts and thoughts go out to Jim’s family and all of those whose lives he so deeply touched in his leadership roles at the Western Golf Association,” said WGA Chairman Dennis O’Keefe.

The Evans Scholars Program, administered by the Western Golf Association in Golf, is among the nation’s largest privately-funded scholarship programs. Each year, more than 240 full housing and tuition college scholarships are awarded to caddies who show outstanding academic, leadership and caddie records, as well as financial need.

On 14 college campuses across the country where there is an Evans Scholarship chapter, recipients live together in a Scholarship House, excelling in the classroom and in the community. 

Moore first arrived at the Western Golf Association as assistant educational director in 1967, helping then-longtime Educational Director Roland F. “Mac” McGuigan with the growing needs of the Evans Scholars Program. Previously, Moore taught at Rich Central High School in Park Forest, where he was a football and tennis coach.

From 1989 to 2008, Moore served as educational director, and he worked tirelessly to improve living conditions for all Scholars. During this time, every one of the Program’s 14 scholarship houses was replaced or upgraded through renovation or purchase of new property.

He made numerous visits to the chapters and met with hundreds of Scholars each year, advising them on academics and personal matters. He maintained close ties with many Alums, serving as a mentor and friend as they built their careers.

In 2008, Moore became senior vice president of foundation advancement, helping to develop a loyal base of supporters to guarantee Program funding for future Evans Scholars.

Also in 2008, the Evans Scholars Alumni Association established the James E. Moore Endowed Named Scholarship in honor of his more than 40 years of service to the WGA.

Moore, of Green Oaks, was born on March 3, 1941, in Champaign. At a very young age, he moved to Fairbury, later excelling in sports at Fairbury High School.

He played college basketball at Illinois State University. His interests included sports, golf and spending time with his grandchildren.