Lees-McRae recognizes top scholarship recipients

Three incoming students for the fall semester—Emmett Lebendig of Ruckersville, Virginia, Leanna Phillips of Newnan, Georgia, and Carson Cross of Galloway, Ohio—were named beneficiaries of the most celebrated and prestigious scholarships at Lees-McRae.

The recipients initially competed earlier this year as part of the college’s annual Scholars Day. Hosted by the Lees-McRae Honors Program, the day invites qualified Honors Program students to participate in essay and interview competitions. 

The Elizabeth McRae Scholarship, awarding full tuition for two students each year, was named after Elizabeth A. McRae, one of the two namesakes of the college. McRae was a summer school teacher at Lees-McRae in 1900 when it was an all-female school led by Lees-McRae founder, Rev. Edgar Tufts.

Emmett Lebendig, one of the two recipients of the Elizabeth McRae Scholarship, said winning the full tuition scholarship was a dream come true. Having grown up in the Shenandoah Mountains in Virginia, it was important to find a school in the mountains as well.

“Lees-McRae has been my dream school for over two years,” Lebendig said. “I’ve enjoyed biology and life sciences my whole life, especially within wildlife and animals. The college’s unique and incredible wildlife biology program was one of the many things that drew me here. Its gorgeous campus, outdoorsy nature, and small, tight knit community reminded me of home. I feel like Lees-McRae was a college that was made for me.”

Leanna Phillips, the second recipient of the Elizabeth McRae scholarship, said she chose to pursue her education at Lees-McRae, a place she says she loves so dearly, "because they have embraced my potential to be a passionate scholar and artist."

The Shelton Scholarship, named in honor of generous benefactors Ed and Dotti Shelton for their leadership, guidance, and support of Lees-McRae, is the highest honor bestowed upon an entering freshman. The Shelton Scholarship, awarded to one student every four years, covers full tuition and room and board.

Carson Cross, Shelton Scholarship recipient, said he chose Lees-McRae because its “excellent academics, high-quality swim program, friendly students, and abundant outdoor pursuits made the school seem tailor made for me. Walking onto campus felt like coming home. I am so grateful to the generous Shelton family that made this scholarship possible and pledge to honor them through hard work and community involvement.”

Lees-McRae College awards more than $10 million annually in institutional scholarships and grants and helps facilitate more than $25 million in financial aid.

For more information on scholarship opportunities at Lees-McRae, visit lmc.edu/typesofaid or contact the Office of Financial Aid at 828.898.8740.

By Nina MastandreaMarch 30, 2020
FamiliesCampus LifeCommunityAcademics