MCC offers a full scholarship to man who was wrongly imprisoned for 23 years

Lamonte McIntyre (center) with MCC Trustee Barbara Washington (from left), mother Rosie McIntyre, MCC-Penn Valley President Dr. Tyjaun Lee, MCC Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty, MCC Trustee McClain Bryant and attorney Cheryl Pilate

Metropolitan Community College has offered a full scholarship to Lamonte McIntyre, the Kansas City, Kan., man who was recently exonerated after being wrongfully imprisoned for 23 years.

MCC Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty and MCC-Penn Valley President Dr. Tyjaun Lee met McIntyre Dec. 6 at the Urban League of Greater Kansas City’s Difference Maker Awards Luncheon. The Urban League presented its Social Justice Difference Maker Award to attorney Cheryl Pilate, who led a six-year legal battle to free McIntyre.

“His story moved both of us,” Dr. Beatty says. “The mission of a community college is to make higher education accessible and affordable to all, but in Mr. McIntyre’s case, we felt compelled to do more. This hits right at the heart of our mission.”

Dr. Lee added: “We’d be thrilled to have Lamonte on the MCC-Penn Valley campus, and as with all our students, we will do everything possible to ensure his success as he moves forward in his life.”

McIntyre told the MCC officials he’s excited about the opportunity and would be interested in studying business. He hopes to be on campus in January when the spring semester begins.

“I started my college career in prison,” McIntyre told The Kansas City Star, “so to be able to finish is great.” In addition to college courses, he also earned his GED while behind bars.

The offer made by MCC officials also would cover McIntyre’s textbooks.

McIntyre was freed in October when Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree Sr. said he and the county would no longer contest the facts of McIntyre’s innocence. McIntyre, arrested in 1994 at age 17, was wrongly convicted for a double murder in Kansas City, Kan. His 23-year prison stint was part of two life sentences he received. He always maintained his innocence.

MCC’s 130 degree and certificate programs are available across five campuses and online.

News coverage of the scholarship award: