Oracle resident Mary Ann McRae, daughter of Kent and Lorelie McRae of the San Manuel Ward, Tucson Arizona North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been selected to receive a Brigham Young University Thomas S. Monson Presidential Scholarship. She will attend BYU beginning in the fall 2014 semester, where she plans to study accounting and Spanish translation.
Approximately 5600 students were selected for admission into the 2014 BYU freshman class. Only 25 women and 25 men are named Presidential Scholars, which honor carries with it a full-tuition-and-a-half scholarship for four years. Mary Ann is following in the footsteps of her Mother, Lorelie, who also attended BYU on a full-tuition scholarship.
McRae graduated from Canyon Del Oro High School in Oro Valley, with a 4.6 GPA. Because of her advanced classes, she will be entering BYU as a second-semester sophomore.
Throughout her high school career, Mary Ann traveled every morning to attend a seminary class held near CDO High School at 6:00 AM. Seminary is a 4-year course in scripture study specially designed for high school students. Not only did this require a rigid schedule, it included an over 50-mile round trip. “When you do the important things first, then there will be time for everything else.”
McRae served as president of her seminary class and had other leadership experience in the youth programs of the Church. She attributes her success to a busy schedule which did not allow for wasted time. She advises younger students to “avoid taking easy classes just because they are easy, and avoid taking hard classes just because they are hard.” She also advises the youth of the Church to go to youth activities, Church meetings, and seminary. “When you do the important things first,” she reasons, “then there will be time for everything else.”
Mary Ann related that she was worried about how to pay for college and a mission. She had worked and saved enough money for one, but not both. She went to the Lord in prayer, and feels that this scholarship is a direct answer to her petition.
The ecclesiastical leader of the San Manuel Ward, Bishop Will Ramsay, stated, “We are very proud of Mary Ann.”
In addition to the BYU scholarship, Mary Ann was also awarded local scholarships from Saddlebrook Outreach, Saddlebrook Rotary, and the local Philanthropic Education Organization, STAR.