Callie Payne, Mary Wood

Recipients of prestigious full-tuition Elizabeth McRae scholarship and Distinguished Scholar Awards announced

Two incoming students for Fall 2021—Callie Payne of Mount Holly, North Carolina and Mary Wood of Lenoir, North Carolina—have been chosen to receive the Elizabeth McRae Scholarship, which fully covers tuition for four years of college.

Payne and Wood were awarded the scholarships after participating in Scholars Day, an annual event hosted by the Honors Program where admitted students participate in essay and interview competitions.

The scholarship is named for Elizabeth A. McRae, a well-known educator who taught in Western North Carolina in the early 1900s. Rev. Edgar Tufts honored her commitment to education by naming his school for girls the Elizabeth McRae Institute.

Payne, one of the two recipients, said she fell in love with the campus the first time she visited.

“I am looking forward to the unique education that I will receive and the relationships that I will make,” she continued. “At Lees-McRae, I feel like I will be more than just a number and I am so excited to begin my journey as a Bobcat!”

Wood, the other scholarship recipient, said “I have always loved science and have had a particular fondness for animals. I quickly learned that Lees-McRae would be the perfect place for me to expand upon these loves. With the combination of the fantastic Wildlife Biology program and the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, I feel like Lees-McRae is perfectly suited for my interests. On top of that, I love the mountains and how small Lees-McRae is.”

Seventeen incoming students also received Distinguished Scholar Awards, which are partial tuition scholarships, after participating in the event:

  • Constance Kammerer
  • Daisy Graham
  • Barrett Odom
  • Claire Buck
  • Dylan Myers
  • Mary Overcash
  • Emma Cotton
  • Genesis Davis
  • Taiya Driggers
  • Madison Cronk
  • Sydney Baker
  • Skylar Hooker
  • Anna-Grace Fraley
  • Olivia Lopez
  • Benjamin Gribbins
  • Lydia Collins
  • Barrett Odom

High school students with a GPA of at least 3.8 with a strong academic rigor in their curriculum are offered a place in the Honors Program on admittance to Lees-McRae. Other students who have at least a 3.3 GPA can also apply to the program.  

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 the Costs and Financial Aid webpage or contact the Office of Financial Aid at 828.898.3446.

By Emily WebbMarch 19, 2021