Awarded annually to two female rising juniors, the Payne Scholarship was established in memory of the late Carolyn Payne, a close family friend of Lee President Paul Conn and his wife Darlia. Funds for the annual scholarship have been provided by members of the Payne family since 1989.
Candidates are nominated by a professor and then selected by a scholarship committee. Criteria for the award include leadership, campus involvement, broadly-based student achievement, and service to others.
Castro, an intercultural studies major from San Antonio, Texas, said, “The first of my family to pursue a college education, attending Lee has been a great step of faith. This blessing serves as a witness of God's goodness and faithfulness.”
Castro leads the Intercultural Studies World Missions prayer meeting, oversees the ICSP summer internship team, and is a member of Leetinos, Lee’s Hispanic diversity club.
“This scholarship comes in a crucial time because Karina was not supposed to be enrolled this semester at Lee due to financial problems,” Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies Dr. Rolando Cuellar said. “I am so thrilled for her because Karina has exemplified the type of student that many of us hope to see graduate from Lee University.”
Davidson, a vocal performance major from Ringgold, Ga., said, “I’m so privileged to be here at Lee, and this scholarship could not have come at a better time. It is a great example of God’s provision.”
Davidson is a member of Lee musical ensembles Choral Union, Chorale, and Advent Now!, as well as being a member of the theater honor society Alpha Psi Omega.
“Chelsea is one of the most talented voice students I have ever taught. She is a dedicated musician and works very hard at her practice and preparation. She most certainly deserves the award,” Assistant Professor of Music Virginia Horton said. “I am so happy for her and am grateful to Dr. and Mrs. Conn and to the Payne family for choosing Chelsea as a recipient.”