When Gregg Murray, associate director of college counseling joined the department last August, his main priority was to establish authentic connections with all of the students who were assigned to work with him. He is no stranger to the ins and outs of college admissions, prior to his current position, he worked at Drew School as the director of college counseling. Upon arrival, Mr. Murray’s eagerness to dive into the School’s college counseling process was matched by Kevin Chen ’20, a rising senior at the time.
Upon their first meeting, Kevin came prepared with multiple college application essays and was seeking feedback on the spot. It was in that moment that Mr. Murray knew that Kevin was going to work relentlessly to earn acceptance at his dream school. But what Mr. Murray wasn’t aware of, was the impact that he would have on Kevin.
So much of an impact, that Kevin would go on to nominate him for the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator award.
“After I got my acceptance letter to the University of Chicago, there was an opportunity to nominate someone for the Outstanding Educator award,” Kevin said. “Without hesitation, I nominated Mr. Murray because he goes beyond every day teaching and he left an impression on me that will last a lifetime. He worked tirelessly to support me and he is someone who I fully trust.”
When Mr. Murray learned of his new accolade, he was pleasantly surprised. He knew of the nomination but didn’t think anything would come from it.
“To learn that I had won the Outstanding Educator award was humbling and a wonderful way to finish up my first year at Hun,” Mr. Murray said. “The fact that Kevin went out of his way to submit a nomination on my behalf is far more meaningful than the award itself. For me, this award will serve as a reminder that the college application process can be a truly transformative experience if students engage in it as authentically as Kevin did.”
Kevin notes that in his eyes, what qualifies Mr. Murray as an outstanding educator is his willingness to go above and beyond for students. Kevin explained that Mr. Murray exceeded his expectations of what he thought a college counselor should do by inspiring, guiding, and encouraging him to maximize his full potential both academically and personally.
Mr. Murray attributes his success as an outstanding educator to his father, who spent over thirty years as a teacher and taught him that all students are unique and they must be treated as such.
“As a college counselor, I look for the uniqueness in every student and I try to help them celebrate the best parts of themselves,” he said. “I think the most outstanding educators recognize and appreciate the diversity of their students.”