A sky full of stars

From One ‘Ed’ To Another.
CRA sixth grader Edmund Botchway (2nd from left) received the Eddie Murray Ambassador for Christ Scholarship today. It was presented by Sherry (Pendergrass, ’75) Murray and Ryan Murray, who are pictured to Edmund’s left. Trista Botchway, Edmund’s mother, stands to his right.

There are a million great stories flying through the hallways of Crowley’s Ridge Academy. Some of my favorites are the ones that return to us, like Halley’s Comet, and remind us of their brilliance even after a number of years have passed. We are awestruck to witness them as they streak across our sky, reminding us once again of CRA’s historically great people and their connections and reconnections across decades.

Today we welcomed Sherry (Pendergrass, ‘75) Murray and her son, Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Murray, to campus. Sherry and her late husband, Eddie Murray (‘75), “met cute” at CRA during their days as students. They later married, started a family, and devoted their lives to ministry and Christian counseling across several states. Eventually, they settled in Wyoming, where Sherry still lives today.

Eddie, a minister and counselor, died in 2017 from cancer. But his CRA story lives on. Eddie and his siblings — Vicki (’76) and Randy — were orphaned at very young ages. Ralph and Lottie Edrington, grandparents of CRA graduates and current employees Leann (Douglas, ‘80) Pillow and Melanie (Douglas, ‘97) Estes, took in the three children. Friends of the Edringtons and of the Academy chipped in to pay tuition for the Murray kids to attend CRA.

Eddie thrived at CRA. He loved being at school: loved learning about God and developing his own faith, loved playing basketball and running track, and loved to socialize with fellow students. He seized the opportunity afforded to him by the Edringtons and those who donated to help him be at CRA.

When Eddie died, Sherry wanted to do something in his memory that also honored the way he lived his life. She founded the Eddie Murray Ambassador for Christ Scholarship Fund. It provides tuition assistance for a CRA student who, like Eddie, might not have the CRA experience without a helping hand from others. Applicants for the scholarship must display Christian values in their daily walks as students, just as Eddie did as a student in the 70’s.

Nearly five decades later, the story of Eddie Murray visited us again today. The scholarship that bears his name and reflects his life values was presented to CRA sixth grader Edmund Botchway. In his application, Edmund wrote that he tries to be a good listener for his classmates when they have struggles, and to provide good advice to them whenever he can. It was a trait Sherry and Ryan remember well in their husband and father.

In chapel today, as Ryan and Sherry teared up sharing recollections of Eddie, they also beamed with pride at being able to invest in the spiritual growth of another young “Ed” — one with a bright future, one whose own story will someday orbit our hallways, thanks in no small part to the generosity, determination and legacy of the Murray family.

You can donate to the Ed Murray Ambassador for Christ Scholarship fund by sending a check (payable to Ed Murray Scholarship Fund) to:

Central Bank & Trust
Ed Murray Scholarship Fund
PO Box 393
Riverton, WY 82501

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For more information, please contact:

Amber Oxley
Crowley’s Ridge Academy
606 Academy Dr.
Paragould, AR 72450

aoxley@crafalcons.org
(870) 280-2557

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Crowley’s Ridge Academy

606 Academy Dr

Paragould, AR  72450

870.236.6900