By Bob Arnold
Co-Lin graduates Morgan McCray of Ridgeland and Bailey Wilson of Brookhaven have earned full scholarships for medical school through the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program (MRPSP).
MRPSP is a competitive scholarship program for outstanding Mississippi students committed to pursuing rural medicine and primary care. Once admitted into medical school, McCrary and Wilson will have all four years paid for through the MRPSP, scholarships of $35,000 per year.
“To say we are proud of Morgan and Bailey is quite an understatement,” says Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon Sims. “They made the most of their time at Co-Lin by dedicating themselves to academic and scholastic excellence, and their hard work has paid off. We feel honored that Co-Lin has played an important role in their success and look forward to watching them thrive as physicians.”
McCray graduated from Co-Lin in 2021 and is a rising senior at The University of Mississippi. She plans to go into pediatrics. While at Co-Lin, she was a stand-out student athlete. She served as Student Government Association President and Vice President of Service for Phi Theta Kappa. She was selected as Miss Co-Lin, Who’s Who, and Phi Theta Kappa Officer of the Year. McCray was a member of the Lady Wolves Basketball team and was selected MACCC Academic All-State and NJCAA All-Academic. She was also selected to the PTK All-Mississippi Academic First Team and inducted into the college’s Hall of Fame; the most prestigious honor bestowed on a student.
Wilson graduated from Co-Lin in May 2022, and is now headed to Mississippi State University to complete her bachelor’s degree. At Co-Lin, she served as Vice President of the Student Government Association, Vice President of Communications for Phi Theta Kappa, and was a member of the Biomedical Research Team. She was selected to Who’s Who at Co-Lin, as a Campus Favorite, and a Taylor Presidential Scholar. She was also inducted to the college’s Hall of Fame.
Wilson has been accepted into MRPSP’s Early Assurance process. The Early Assurance process allows well-qualified sophomore applicants who have had successful interviews with the practicing physicians on the MRPSP Board to interview with the Admissions Committee. If the admissions committee sees the potential for the applicant to grow into a competent, competitive medical student, they are granted Early Assurance status. This means the student must maintain their grades during the junior and senior years, score well on the MCAT and actively participate in all MRPSP activities.
For McCray, her time at Co-Lin demonstrated the impact of close-knit community.
“Opting to play college basketball at Co-Lin allowed me to experience first-hand the positive impact of a small environment," she says. "Being surrounded by people who truly care for one another for two years, Wesson became my home away from home. With my passion for science and caring for people, I saw how in small towns such as Wesson, I could build significant relationships that truly resemble a family while serving the health of the community. Co-Lin was a pivotal moment in my life when deciding to pursue rural medicine.”
Wilson credits her time at Co-Lin for helping prepare her for the opportunity offered by her scholarship.
“Going to Co-Lin was the best decision I could have made for myself,” Wilson says. “I was able to form connections with my teachers, while being pushed academically at the same time. I did not have a single bad experience with any of my instructors. I can’t say enough good things about my time at Co-Lin.
“I want to especially thank Dr. Kevin McKone, Mrs. Lucy McKone, Mrs. Mary Warren, Mrs. Angela Smith, Mrs. Cliburn, and Dr. Price. Also, Amy Case and Jordan Stephens for their continuous support."