Student of the Year: Remi Murrey
In her own words, Remi Murrey isn’t supposed to be at the University of Michigan. Born and raised in Detroit, her passion and sociability have driven her toward a career in broadcast journalism. As did many of her high school classmates, Remi set her eyes on historically black colleges and universities, specifically Howard University and its program in broadcast journalism.
“Howard was ‘that’ one,” Murrey told me, sitting, in a small meeting room in the basement of North Quad Residence Hall. But after acceptances to both Howard and the University of Michigan, scholarships made Ann Arbor an obvious choice despite the absence of a broadcast journalism program.
“When my mom and I did a tour here before Howard, I had a strong feeling that Michigan was the right place for me to be because it just felt at home,” Murrey said. “Howard was so far away.”
Despite a 21 on the ACT exam and a 3.5 grade point average in high school, Remi defied the odds of admissions. She eventually opted for a degree in communications studies in lieu of broadcast journalism.
“You know the credentials,” Murrey said with a wave of her hand. “However, I made it on the first round: boom, boom, boom. I wasn’t deferred — it was my essay and who I was as a person. I was like, ‘Ah-ha I made it!’”
And with her no-nonsense instincts and support from her parents, grandmother and her devout faith in God, Remi has continued to defy odds and “(make) boss moves,” both across campus and in her pursuit of broadcast journalism. Now, weeks away from graduation, she shares the anxious anticipation of all those with uncertain post-graduation circumstances, but when asked about her various roles during undergraduate career her expression asks, “You want to know it all?”
To be fair, there’s a lot to know. Remi has held secretary positions in Central Student Government and the Comprehensive Studies Program, The Inn at the Michigan League in addition to stints as a mentor for Pretty Brown Girl Club and a tour guide, all the while making pocket money in the University’s dining halls, first Bursley Residence Hall and then South Quad Residence Hall. But these are merely Remi’s side hustles. Her staying power is best displayed by her time at The Michigan Daily as a beat reporter, in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as a member and then as chapter president and, finally, as an intern with Detroit’s Local 4 News.
“Who can say they had an internship while taking classes and had multiple jobs and was the president of their sorority?” Murrey asked toward the end of our interview. “I didn’t let someone hold me back from my dreams, so I’m not going to let anyone hold me back from my future dreams because if I was able to make it here, I feel like I can make it anywhere. But, hey, that’s just me.”
Remi’s (well-earned) sense of pride is tag-teamed in and out by humility and a genuine appreciation for her opportunities and all those around her who make them possible.
“I just want to say thank you, that’s it,” Murrey said at the end of our interview. “Thank you to whoever nominated me. People may overlook this but I’m not. When I say I beat myself up sometimes … We all do. We compare ourselves to the next person who looks like they’re doing better, but if we just focus on ourselves and our own journey we can realize we are doing just as much, or even better, so thank you.”