We recently had the opportunity to chat with Brook Hill Alum, McCray Fletcher ‘16 about how Brook Hill impacted his faith in college, newlywed life (and how his wife feels about BH!), and what he would say to his dad.
McCray attended Brook Hill for 11 years and graduated Salutatorian in 2016 before attending Texas A&M University. He studied Finance in Mays Business School where he graduated in December of 2019. He started a full time job in January as a BTC Up investment banker, and he married his college sweetheart, Braden, in June. Lucky for us, he recently squeezed in the time to catch up with us!
BH: McCray! We wanted to start off by saying congratulations! You most recently got married. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Your wife(!), and marriage so far?
McCray: Yes! Marriage is awesome. I love my wife, and I cannot believe I am actually married. My wife’s name is Braden – she is the nicest, most caring, loving person you will meet. We met at Impact Retreat (a retreat for incoming Christian freshmen at TAMU) and immediately became close friends. Over the course of our friendship we grew closer (and spent too much time together) and decided to start dating. And yes, Braden loves Brook Hill, too!
BH: That’s what we like to hear! Ha, what was it like having a wedding during COVID-19? In the few months since your wedding, what has marriage taught you so far?
McCray: Because of COVID-19, our wedding was smaller than planned, Luckily, we still had most of our closest friends and family there. It was great. And so far, marriage has made me realize the things I am not good at – ha! But it’s also shown me how being married can fill in those gaps where needed. Not pointing them out, but instead helping each other grow.
BH: We are so excited for you two and your future together! Where are you guys living? What is life looking like for you currently?
McCray: We are living in Houston. Braden is a third grade teacher at Hunters Creek Elementary, and I am working as an Investment Banking Analyst at FMI Capital Advisors.
BH: Can you tell us about that? How did you decide to go into this career?
McCray: Because of the many opportunities to take college credit classes at BH, I entered college with over 40 hours already. That being said, when most people in the business school declare their major (Finance, Accounting, Management, etc.) at the end of their sophomore year, I declared my major first semester freshman year. This gave me a head start and got me in a group called Aggies on Wall Street, which teaches you all about investment banking. I took accelerated classes and took a two week trip to NYC where we met with 40 different banks. I got to network and really evaluate investment banking. I loved these classes, the people in them, and the experience, so I decided to start my career here.
BH: Wow! That sounds like an exciting program (and career!) to be in. What was your overall experience at Texas A&M like? What did you enjoy about it?
McCray: Moving from Brook Hill to TAMU should’ve been a huge change for me, but it wasn’t because of the culture and people I was surrounded by. They made me feel like I found “my Brook Hill” at TAMU (almost). I liked the people and the games. I really enjoyed being in a place I didn’t know everybody – there was room to explore.
BH: A place where you did not know everybody… this sounds a bit different than BH! Can you tell us what your experience at Brook Hill was like?
McCray: My best friends to this day (my groomsmen in my wedding) were my same best friends in high school. A group like that is uncommon to move through life with. I found my life friends there. I also got to know the faculty well, and I still keep in contact with them. They are the people I look for advice from. Many of the character qualities I have today are because of Brook Hill. The sports I played, my education, the school, and my experiences from second through twelfth grade.
“Many of the character qualities I have today are because of Brook Hill.”
BH: We love seeing the man of God you have become! How did Brook Hill prepare you spiritually?
McCray: Having incredible bible teachers (Coach Reed and Mr. Rhoads!) was so helpful, as well as having chapel every Wednesday. Both of them taught me a lot about reading the bible, reason for my faith, and how to defend my faith. I looked up to the relationship of Mr. Rhoads and my dad a lot. I think having a community group in high school that constantly prepared me and asked me tough questions about my faith started habits early that carried into when I was on my own. They became innate behaviors of who I am.
“Both of them (reed, Rhoads) taught me a lot about reading the bible, reason for my faith, and how to defend my faith.”
BH: How did Brook Hill prepare you for where you are now?
McCray: Brook Hill taught me perseverance and hard work. Playing three sports and being as involved as I possibly could be, facing adversities (with my teams and in school) pushed me to work hard even when times get hard. When my wife or friends count on me in my life now, it’s nothing new.
BH: What wisdom would you share with current students? What is something you would have told your high school self?
McCray: Take advantage of your time at Brook Hill! It is unique, and you won’t realize that until you leave. Also, get to know my dad! I would have told myself to focus on the things that you are going to look back on in 5 years and be proud of – sports, family, etc. Avoid the other things.
“Take advantage of your time at Brook Hill! It is unique, and you won’t realize that until you leave.”
BH: That is great advice! Lastly, we want to ask you what BH faculty impacted you? And what would you say to them?
McCray: My dad. Dad, thank you so much for being the role model you have always been for me. Thank you for showing me the correct way to be a husband, and how to work hard even when you might not love what you’re doing, but you know there is purpose in it. And thank you for showing me what a Godly man looks like.
McCray, your Brook Hill family is so proud of you and the man of God you are today. Congratulations on everything you have accomplished so far. We are praying for you as you continue on in your journey, and we are rooting for you every step of the way!