As the oldest of nine siblings, UT basketball player and senior accounting major, Tarale Murry works hard to be a role model to his brothers and sister.
Although he had options to play basketball at other universities, the Lehman High School graduate made the decision to stay closer to home to help his mother.
Additionally, Murry has balanced an internship, extensive school work as a McNair Scholar and a demanding schedule as an athlete throughout his academic career.
In 2013, Murry walked on the UT basketball team. Although it sounds like a constant struggle in managing priorities, Murry feels that being on the basketball team enabled him to manage time more effectively. Former UT Basketball coach Rick Barnes even said on The Longhorn Network that he had “never seen a person juggle it all” the way Murry does.
Murry said he has always had a proclivity for math and therefore decided to major in accounting, but later found that working in the corporate world was not the path he wanted to take.
“I knew I wanted to be able to help people. I thought as an accountant I wouldn’t be able to really help people directly,” Murry said.
Suddenly, a shift in his academic goals occurred after taking a few African Diaspora classes.
Murry found Dr. Louis Harrison’s African Americans In Sports class to be “culturally awakening” for him. Dr. Moore’s “Black Power Movement” was another course that inspired him too. He said the different discipline of coursework helped him realize he wanted to work to help youth and pursue a path towards obtaining his Ph.D.
That’s when the accounting major made the decision to apply to the McNair Scholars program his junior year. The McNair Scholars program selects 25 students each year to help undergraduates get on track toward a doctoral degree program. Through the McNair Scholars program Murry has been able to get experience working in research that will prepare him for graduate school.
He shared that his mother always emphasized the importance of education. Although Murry’s mother had him in high school, she made the necessary sacrifices to obtain a college degree with a young baby.
“She instilled that ‘academic identity’ in me,” Murry said.
Murry said he feels the most important thing he has gotten out of the McNair Scholars program is that it helped him discover his passion.
“When people would say ‘find your passion’–that used to not make sense to me,” Murry said. As Murry looks to UT and other out of state programs for graduate school, the idea of finding your passion makes sense now.
Being a leader and mentor is an intrinsic quality of Murry’s, and his story is one example how an academic career is more about enjoying the journey than the final destination.