Morehead-Cain Scholarship Winners:
Published: Mar 21, 2013 02:00 PM
Modified: Mar 21, 2013 06:04 PM
Chapel Hill High School seniors Norman Archer and Chris Reeder were familiar with being friendly rivals, both of them running on the same cross-country team. But the stakes were elevated a bit recently when they realized they both were finalists for Morehead-Cain Scholarships.
"I was just so anxious, it didn’t even occur to me until after the interviews," Reeder said last week. "Then I realized they might be comparing us to each other and choosing just one — or neither."
Established for the University of North Carolina in 1945 by John Motley Morehead as the first merit scholarship program in the United States, what’s now known as the Morehead-Cain provides its scholars with full tuition and funds for housing, meals, supplies and more at UNC. Competition for the elite scholarship is stiff.
The interviews by a select panel are crucial. Instead of treating the process as a competition, Archer and Reeder walked together into the Morehead Building for the interviews.
Reeder and Archer were delighted to learn both of them won.
“When I found out, I let out a yell so loud that everyone was staring,” Reeder said.
“We both had been pretty anxious about it,” Archer said. “But it turned out great for both of us.”
Reeder would like to pursue work in physics or possibly bio-mechanics. Archer is looking at biology or public health.
In the meantime, Reeder remains one of the state’s top performers in the 800 and 1,600 meters. Archer will be playing on Chapel Hill’s Ultimate Frisbee team.
“We’re trying to repeat as state champions,” Archer said.
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