Morgan Gray ’16 ’18 has a mission in life: to advocate for the Chickasaw Nation on a federal level. Gray was born in Stillwater, Oklahoma, but spent most of her childhood and formative years in San Antonio. Although she grew up away from the Chickasaw Nation headquarters, her mother ensured that her family environment incorporated as many aspects of Chickasaw culture as possible.
“Storytelling is an important aspect of Chickasaw culture,” said Gray, “and my Chickasaw family members passed on traditional stories to me and my brother at a young age. As I’ve grown older, I’ve tried to learn the Chickasaw language and attend cultural events in South Texas.”
Gray’s family also placed a high value on public service. Both of her parents have dedicated their lives to supporting people with autism. “They are extremely passionate about what they do,” she said. “My passion for serving individuals who don’t have a voice, or those who don’t know how to use their voice, comes from my parents.”
Gray was drawn to Texas A&M University because of the passion that students have for the Aggie community, the unique traditions and the overwhelming presence of friendly faces on campus. As an undergraduate, she interned for Sen. Dianne Feinstein in Washington D.C. and was introduced to the legislative process.
“I worked on issues related to Indian Affairs by attending congressional hearings,” said Gray. “During the hearings, I witnessed tribal leaders provide testimony to senators regarding major issues that occur within tribal communities. I was so inspired by the tribal leaders who worked to advocate for their people that I realized I wanted to devote my professional career to improving the quality of life of tribal citizens.”
In 2016, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with her bachelor’s degree in political science and set her sights on pursuing a master’s education at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Fortunately, she received a graduate fellowship endowed by Elizabeth and Drayton McLane through the Texas A&M Foundation to help cover her tuition. With her financial situation secure, she can focus fully on attaining her public administration degree and learning more about formulating policies capable of improving citizens’ quality of life.