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Andrew cray memorial
higher education fund

Now Open

Apply by April 28, 2024

The Andrew Cray High Education Fund (HEF) was originally founded as the Andrew Cray Memorial Scholarship in 2016, with the first scholarship being awarded in May of 2017. The goal of the HEF is to assist LGBTQ+ youth in receiving secondary education to help them achieve greatness, follow their dreams, and help this world become more accepting of all its children, just as Andy's work did.


His family and friends would like to continue Andy's work by helping to provide the next generation of LGBTQ+ individuals the opportunity to achieve their dreams and act as advocates for equity, equality, and justice. 

The HEF is funded entirely by donations from individuals and organizations who support our mission to continue Andy's work. If you would like to help our work continue and support aspiring LGBTQ+ students, please consider donating but using the 'donate' button on the right.

who was
andrew cray?

a Champion of change

Andrew Cray was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and attended Chippewa Falls Senior High School. He excelled academically and was greatly involved in the music department, playing drums and clarinet in addition to other instruments as well as receiving the John Phillip Sousa award. After graduating as valedictorian in 2004, he attended Northwestern University and received his bachelor’s degree with honors. He then went to University of Michigan Law School where he received his law degree. He ultimately found his calling as an advocate for the LGBTQ community in Washington D.C., where he fought against healthcare discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


Andy transitioned during college and began his career with the National Coalition for LGBT Health. He was a law fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force in 2009, writing recommendations for inclusion of LGBTQ health care issues in health reform legislation. He served as a health law and policy fellow at the National Center for Transgender Equality—working to ensure transgender individuals had the rights to access to affordable and high-quality health care. Andy helped found Trans Legal Advocates of Washington, an organization that exists to train attorneys on legal issues facing the transgender community and which conducts free legal clinics for trans clients.


As Policy Analyst for the Center for American Progress’ LGBTQ Research and Communications Project in 2012, Andy researched LGBTQ engagement in state enactment of the Affordable Care Act. He led efforts to create health insurance policies inclusive of transgender people in multiple U.S. states and the District of Colombia and acted as a founder of Out2Enroll, an initiative connecting LGBTQ people and their families with health insurance coverage. According to Paulette Aniskoff, former director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, his contributions to the Affordable Care Act were integral to the successful implementation of the law.


In August of 2014, after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, he married Sarah McBride. He passed away four days after they were married at the age of 28. In October of that year, President Barack Obama posthumously gave him the award of “Champion of Change” for his contributions to LGBTQ health. The National Center for Transgender Equality created a Law Fellowship and Award in his honor.


Andy is remembered by his family and friends as a fun-loving guy who adored his two fat cats and enjoyed robots, Star Wars, bow ties, his family, and his wife Sarah McBride—who is the author of Tomorrow Will Be Different and currently serving as a State Senator representing Delaware’s First State Senate District. The Andrew Cray Higher Education Fund is a way for those near and dear to Andy to honor his memory and continue his work for future generations.

Image by Alexander Grey
The number and dollar amount of scholarships to be given annually will depend on number of applicants and funds available; in 2022, HEF awarded a total of $10,000 to several students from high schools in the Chippewa Valley. 

Andrew Cray Higher Education Fund checks will be sent directly to the recipients' educational institution of choice no later than one month after the beginning of the institution's academic year.

Any inquiries should be directed to
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