A scholarship and an internship have been established for Forsyth County residents at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, opening in fall 1999.
The William L. and Myrtle Ray Scholarship and the William Kay and Velma Preslar McGee Internship in Prison Ministry will be awarded each year to residents of Forsyth County enrolled in the school’s master of divinity program.
Wake Forest graduate and Winston-Salem native William E. Ray established the William L. and Myrtle Ray Scholarship in honor of his late grandparents, who were long-time residents of Winston-Salem. The scholarship covers one-half the cost of tuition.
“Wake Forest has done so much for me,” Ray said. “It planted the seeds that have nurtured me throughout my life so I am particularly pleased that a needy Forsyth County student will be helped to attend Wake Forest’s new divinity school.”
A resident of West Palm Beach, Fla., Ray is president of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.
The William Kay and Velma Preslar McGee Internship in Prison Ministry is the first internship established by the divinity school for a prison ministry chaplain program in Forsyth County. The internship, which provides a stipend to recipients, will be awarded to students during their second year of study, when an internship is required.
William K. McGee helped found the Forsyth Prison Chaplaincy and was elected its president in 1978, a position he held until his death in 1983. His wife, Velma, was a president of the state Women’s Missionary Union and the first woman elected as first vice president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. She was also the first woman to serve on the Forsyth County Board of Education. The McGee internship was made possible by the couple’s four daughters: Betsy McLean of Jackson; Kay Phillips of Pinnacle; Joy Jacobs of Greensboro; and Velma Ferrell of Chapel Hill.
“We felt that this gift to the divinity school was a good way for us to continue the work of our parents in an area that was very important to them during their lives,” said Kay Phillips.
The Wake Forest divinity school will open in fall 1999 with students from a variety of denominational traditions and is expected to grow to 135-150 students within three years. The school’s curriculum will blend instruction in traditional seminary subjects with courses taught by faculty of the university’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. The school will offer the master of divinity degree.
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