Lightning Athletics

Sage Hill Senior Earns Prestigious Marine Corps Scholarship 

By Daniel Langhorne
Billy Ray ‘24 was awarded a United States Marine Corps scholarship for $180,000 toward his college education for committing to join the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) during Town Meeting on Monday, March 11.
After graduating from college, Billy will earn his commission as a U.S. Marine second lieutenant. He’s one of 461 NROTC scholarship recipients nationwide afforded a full-ride opportunity in Fiscal Year 2024, a Marine Corps Headquarters spokesperson said.
“That’s obviously an incredible testament to Billy, who he is as a person, his character, his leadership potential and obviously to this school as a whole, his family and friends. It takes a village to raise somebody like Billy and we’re incredibly proud to give him this scholarship and see what he can use it for,” said Capt. Kevin McNeela, executive officer of Recruiting Station Orange County.
After the award ceremony, Billy reunited with a long-time family friend, Lt. Cmdr. James Fraser. Billy served as the ring bearer at the U.S. Navy aviator’s wedding and the two were pen pals for a stretch. Their relationship influenced his decision to commit to NROTC earlier this year, said Billy’s mom Amy Ray, Sage Hill Physical Health and Wellness Department Chair.
“Our family is incredibly grateful for Billy being [recognized] with this life-changing honor and opportunity for his college education and beyond. We’re so proud of everything that he’s accomplished and excited to see how he grows into a man, leader, and Marine,” Amy Ray said.
Billy has demonstrated commitment and dedication during his three years playing for the Sage Hill Water Polo Team, Water Polo Head Coach Pavle Filipovic said.
“It’s incredible what he’s accomplished since he joined Sage. I think the way he presented himself and how hard he worked to establish who he is not only in the pool but outside of the pool was outstanding. I’m extremely proud of him,” Filipovic said.
After accepting the oversized check from visiting Marines in front of the school community, Billy kept his remarks brief.
“I would just say thank you everyone. It means a lot to me,” he said.

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  • Billy Ray '24 accepts his scholarship check from Capt. Kevin McNeela, executive officer of Recruiting Station Orange County, (right) and Marine Sgt. Erik Clingan on Monday, March 11.

    Sage Hill Senior Earns Prestigious Marine Corps Scholarship 

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Sage Hill School

Sage Hill School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship programs, and athletic and other School administered programs.