FMU names McNair Scholars

Rachel Droze, Assistant Editor

Three high school seniors were awarded the FMU McNair Scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year.

Elizabeth Goodman of Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology in Darlington, Aiden Humphrey of Mullins High School and Corbin Witt of South Florence High School are the 2015 McNair scholars.

The scholars are selected based on their academic performance throughout high school as well as their contributions to their communities. The applicants are also required to write an essay. A selection committee interviewed finalists before deciding which three will receive the scholarship.

Dr. Alyssa Warters is the director of the Robert E. McNair Center for Research and Service and is the chair of the internal selection board that narrows down the applicants to the finalists who will move on to the interviewing stage of the selection process. The final selection is made by a committee whose members are not part of FMU and is chaired by former governor James Hodges.

Interviews for the 2015 finalists were held on Jan. 9, and the 2015 scholarship recipients were notified on Monday, Jan. 12.

“I was absolutely elated upon hearing that I received the McNair Scholarship,” Witt said. “Dr. Warters called me with the news on a Monday. [It was the] best Monday ever.”

Each of the new scholars is a representative for their respective schools. Goodman serves as an ambassador for Mayo High School ensuring freshmen adjust to the campus when they start at the school. Humphrey is a member of the Mullins High School academic challenge team and was named the team’s most valuable player at a regional competition held at FMU. Witt is a member of the student government and is currently serving as the student body president at South Florence High School.

Goodman and Witt plan to major in chemistry, and Humphrey plans to major in English.

“I applied for the McNair Scholarship because I was trying to push myself in many regards,” Witt said. “This is an incredible scholarship, and I knew that I would have to work very hard to receive it.”

Humphrey said he felt accomplished when he was named one of the new McNair Scholars.

“I am indeed honored to be a McNair Scholar and look forward to [upholding] the honorable character which distinguishes [the scholars],” Humphrey said.

The McNair Scholarship is the highest academic scholarship a student can receive from the university and is typically presented to three incoming freshmen for the coming school year. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, housing and provides a book allowance. It is renewable each year for up to four years as long as the scholars continue to maintain high academic standing and continue to progress at FMU.

McNair Scholars will complete their degrees at FMU, as well as spend a semester in the study abroad program and have the opportunity to participate in service opportunities in the community. The scholars will also be encouraged to participate in community activities that specifically benefit FMU and the Pee Dee region.

“I would really like to study abroad in Canada because their medical science and research developments are incredible,” Goodman said.

Humphrey said he would like to study in France but will probably go to England because of his major. Witt said he would also like to study in England.

Witt said he chose FMU because he felt like FMU was a school where he would feel like a part of a family-like atmosphere.

“I look forward to smaller class sizes and close relationships with my professors,” Witt said. “FMU has such an incredible atmosphere, and I am excited to become a part of it.”

The McNair Scholarship was established in 2009. It is a privately endowed scholarship and is named for former South Carolina governor Robert E. McNair. McNair played an instrumental role in the establishment of FMU.