ABILENE — McMurry University announced two Ellis County students received a scholarship at its Scholarship Day competition held March 4, 2017. Ashley Ray, of Midlothian, and Jaylan Parks, of Red Oak, were both recipients of an $8,000 scholarship.

According to a university press release, Scholarship Day awards are among the highest academic recognitions made by McMurry University to entering first-year students. These awards are based on outstanding academic achievement and the promise of continued academic excellence. Scholarship Day awards provide an annual stipend of at least $8,000 and are renewable for up to eight semesters of full-time study.

The release also notes that McMurry University was founded in 1923 as a United Methodist institution and is a "vibrant and comprehensive center" of higher education.

"McMurry has a national reputation for excellence and value through the achievements of its faculty, students and graduates," the release added. "The University enrolls more than 1,200 students and has an average class size of 16. No graduate assistants teach courses and over 77 percent of our professors have achieved the highest degree in their academic field."