Fairmont State has named three West Virginia high school seniors recipients of the University’s premiere academic scholarship, the Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship. Kate Gorrell of Tyler Consolidated High School, Franki Shumate of Mount View High School and Ryan Williams of Winfield High School will join the Falcon Family on campus during the fall 2022 semester.
Gorrell plans to pursue both an undergraduate and graduate degree in architecture at Fairmont State.
“I’ve always known I’d like a creative career, and I enjoy STEM related subjects such as higher-level math classes including college-level algebra, trigonometry and AP calculus,” Gorrell said. “I thought finding a blend of those interests would be the perfect major, and architecture seemed to be that mix.”
Gorrell added, “Winning this scholarship significantly changed my future and provided total financial stability for my college career.”
Shumate will dual-major in business administration: management and marketing. Upon graduation, she plans to either return to the University in pursuit of an MBA or join the workforce in Charleston, S.C.
“I’ve always liked to take charge and lead, which is what attracted me to business administration,” Shumate said. “I wanted to use skills I already had and enjoyed, and make a career out of that. As well, the job diversity with a business management degree is hard to beat.”
Shumate also described the impact receiving the scholarship has had on her.
“When I got the call that I was going to be awarded the President’s Scholarship, I was honestly in disbelief. Having come from a small school, my scholarship opportunities were limited. So, the weight of having to worry about paying for college was lifted,” Shumate said.
Williams will also study architecture at the University, with plans to later obtain a master’s degree in architecture to bring his goals of designing creative structures and building communities to fruition.
“I was drawn to the architecture program because I've always loved creating things. Maybe it's because I played with Legos when I was younger, but something in me has always loved the idea of building and creating things,” Williams said. “I hope to use that inspiration to create things that will make an impact on people and communities.”
Williams expressed how becoming a Presidential Scholarship recipient has impacted he and his family.
“My whole family and I were so happy to hear that I had won the scholarship. It really means a lot to me, both academically and financially, to be able to achieve something like that,” Williams said. “It's a massive weight off of my shoulders since I do not have to worry about finances as much, and my entire family is extremely proud.”
The McClain Presidential Scholarship includes tuition, room and board and a book stipend.
Eligible candidates must:
· Be a graduating senior from West Virginia
· Be a PROMISE Scholarship recipient
· Submit a completed Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship application and essay
· Have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher
· Have an ACT composite of 26 or higher or 1260 SAT total score
· Participate in on-campus interviews
First year recipients must maintain an overall GPA of a 2.75 at the end of their first year. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required for renewal during subsequent years. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be obtained each year of enrollment for renewal. The Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship can only be awarded up to eight semesters.