Harvard or Texas A&M??

Rebecca has been hospitalized the last few days due to another intestinal ileus/blockage. The surgeons are trying medical treatments to relieve the blockage in an attempt to avoid surgery. We had some promising signs yesterday but as of today, Rebecca still cannot take a sip of fluid by mouth. We could also use big prayers about Rebecca’s liver. Her enzymes are severely elevated, and the doctors and I are struggling to understand the root cause? Rebecca’s liver always takes a hit during major surgeries, but it eventually settles. We are going on 8 months of liver inflammation though and it seems to be getting worse the last few months. We will continue working with her specialist and hope for a treatable answer soon.

Rebecca has asked me to write to our followers for a very specific, non-medical prayer. On May 1st, Rebecca has to make her college choice. As all of you know, Rebecca was accepted to Harvard University. Once she got into her first choice of college during early acceptance, she did not even bother to apply to Yale and Columbia (her other options). Assuming God allowed Rebecca to attend college – Rebecca was Harvard all the way.

And then, Rebecca received a phone call from the hospital. Rebecca was offered an elite scholarship that chooses only 15 high school graduates in the world. She was admitted to a program that paired a Master in Engineering with a Medical Degree. Because Rebecca has always wanted her PhD in medicine, they offered to allow her to add this degree onto the program in an extra fifth year. And if Rebecca chose this particular research-based program, the top world specialists in research would mentor and allow Rebecca to start her pancreas inventions and research as a Freshman in college. She would have full-access to labs, all laboratory equipment, grant-money for student research, and the ability to test her ideas with scientists. They want Rebecca’s mind, her creative ideas and her tremendous experience in the medical field. And they want to fund everything from her undergraduate in engineering, her Master in Engineering, her Medical Degree, to her PhD in medicine. EVERYTHING. This scholarship is through the Texas A&M system.

So, here is Rebecca’s choice:

Choice 1:

Harvard undergraduate (there are no merit-based scholarships at Harvard for National Merit Scholars or scholarships of any kind at Harvard). After her Harvard undergraduate, Rebecca would apply to an MD/PhD program from scratch (all students who are accepted into a form of the MD/PhD program have the program completely covered, thus making the program competitive to get into, but the tuition would be free). She could technically apply to EnMed after attending Harvard for her undergrad degree, but acceptance again into this program is not guaranteed and she would lose her scholarship since EnMed is not considered a joint MD/PhD program.

Choice 2:

Texas A&M undergraduate followed by the EnMed program (Master’s and MD combination) and PhD in medicine (all 100% fully funded including room and board through the Brown Scholar Program).

Harvard pros: a small student body (a little over 1,500 students per grade), low ratio of faculty to students (7:1), nearly all students living on campus for all four years, access to some (but not all) of the Harvard labs and equipment, the ability to apply for student-research grants through the Harvard system, and low average class size (about 12 students per each class so the professors have one-on-one time with the students). And again, Harvard is the school that Rebecca has dreamed about and worked for since she was in fifth grade.

Harvard cons: location across the country, extremely costly with no merit-based scholarships, no automatic acceptance into a med school, limited research opportunities, AP credits are not counted (outside of 3-4 class exemptions), and Rebecca would potentially be giving up the EnMed program.

Texas A&M pros: full coverage of all education, connections to many people in the city (including Rebecca’s grandparents), various research opportunities with ease of access, all AP credits will be accepted so Rebecca could either graduate in a year and a half (not her ideal option) or earn a second Master’s in her time at A&M (her preferred option), a guaranteed spot in the EnMed program, and all EnMed benefits.

Texas A&M cons: much larger student body (with 60,000+ students), less individual time with professors, learning is less hands-on and more lecture style (Rebecca learns best from debate and practice), and Rebecca would have to stay in the same school system for nearly a decade (less diversity of education).

Harvard vs. A&M – that is the question.

Both schools represented on the hospital wall!

It is unexpectedly miraculous, after everything Rebecca has been through, that she has some of the most coveted school choices in the world. Rebecca cannot go wrong with either option. And it is nice for once, to be making a major non-medical decision. We have made almost every decision the last 11 years based upon Rebecca’s health but this time, she wants to decide what is best for her mind and future – not her broken body. Yes, I get the irony of this statement as I post this from a hospital room.

Prayers are greatly appreciated in this life-altering choice. Although Harvard has always been Rebeca’s dream – A&M EnMed program may be Rebecca’s new dream? In Rebecca’s perfect world she would go to Harvard for her undergraduate degree and the A&M EnMed program afterward – but that combination is not possible with the scholarship program offered.

Brian and I have left the decision firmly in Rebecca and God’s hands. Please pray with us for His clear guidance.

Thank you, Lord, for gifting Rebecca with these incredible school choices.

Love to each of you,


The boys want to make sure Rebecca does not forget about the school close to home!

29 thoughts on “Harvard or Texas A&M??

  1. As diehard Longhorn, it is my opinion that Rebecca’s best option is the Engineering MD degree program at Texas A&M.
    1- proximity to family
    2-guaranteed acceptance
    3- full scholarship
    4- better climate
    5-research opportunities from the get go
    6-proximity to her healthcare team
    God Bless
    Bert Hart MD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a work of our amazing hand of our Lord, Rebecca has an incredible mind and intellect and He wants it used for His glory to go along with her incredible heart for our Lord. So I go to my knees now and everyday praying for this special request.

    Love you Christyne and I feel like I know and love Rebecca too although barely ever meeting her.

    We serve an awesome God!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. Thanks for sharing this wonderful news! As of course Rebecca knows, she is incredibly fortunate to have these two amazing choices! And yes, she worked incredibly hard while dealing with unimaginable challenges to be selected for these wonderful programs! Whatever Rebecca decides, she deserves it and so much more. Both universities would be incredibly lucky to have her!

    I know R wants this to be a non-medical decision and I can understand and appreciate that- truly. But, there is one “little” practical matter- Rebecca’s body is unlikely to suddenly be fully healed with no further health crisis or traumas. I know, I know…we all are praying that that is the case. But just in case Rebecca does have health challenges to deal with, might she be better able to manage with her family and her second dad nearby, while continuing her dream at Texas A & M? Just asking.

    I’m praying, not only for guidance for this young lady’s hard but fantastic decision opportunity, (could this unsought-after, highly selective offer that seems tailored to exactly what R wants to do actually be the guidance?) but also for Rebecca to put herself in the very best position and place to follow her dreams and become the amazing doctor that I know she will. Sending you prayers and hugs Dr. Rebecca 🙏🏻❤️ Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think God is clearly leading Rebecca to Texas A&M.

    The choice seems obvious when viewing the benefits and options.

    I believe this is clearly how our Lord works…leads us away from a sure dunk decision, then provides for us another better option.

    I commit to continually pray for Rebecca’s health and got this non-medical decision.

    Blessings, Tom Doyle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aggie land was a gift to her for the opportunity of her lifetime delivered by God.
    Who else could have sent the gift at the moment?? Yes, Harvard heart but A&M opportunities keep knocking.
    I can’t wait to read about her miracles of invention and watch her receive many awards and recognitions she deserves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Praying for Rebecca this is so exciting ! I went to bed praying one night,I had the most exciting dream. That Rebecca is the next person to find the cure for pancreatitis it woke me up and was so exciting! I truly believe this to be so. So wherever God leads her to go she will be amazing! Praying!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Christyn,

    Praying for all of Rebecca’s needs, from inability to tolerate po fluids to liver enzymes needing to stabilize to major decision she is facing regarding her college choice!
    I know that she will feel God’s counsel though prayer! 🙏
    So proud of her and excited for her too!
    Prayers going y’all’s way!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Raye and I are in TOTAL prayer mode for Rebecca, her health and this decision. We have had a wonderful sermon series on the Holy Spirit over the past 16 weeks. The Harvard opportunity is a wow since it has been her dream. I concur with Linda Martin’s comments. I wear a prayer band specifically to remind me to pray throughout the day for Rebecca for total healing. If this is not God’s plan, then A&M seems a direct intervention from the Holy Spirit at the right time. Family and friends will mean everything as you, Rebecca, we are all praying and pulling for you as you move through this next exciting phase of your life. God has amazing things in mind for you! Love always though we’ve met only once at Elizabeth’s senior recital, Paul and Raye Lakey, formerly of ACU communication faculty.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow! I feel as though God has answered my prayer. Do you remember during R’s hospitalization in Dallas the doctor telling y’all R should not go to Harvard? You were very upset by the doctor’s rude remarks and for crushing R’s dream. I, however, felt as though they were words of truth. I desperately wanted to tell you to not let the emotions of the doctor’s words interfere with the meaning of the words.

    R has complicated health issues. Traveling to a new part of the country would require setting up a new medical team. I can tell you from personal experience, THIS IS VERY HARD! Doctors will not know R’s medical history. Doctors will not believe/understand R’s medical history. Moreover, R will need you. You have been a rock and her advocate. You have made things happen when everything was falling apart. You know R’s medical team. They know you. You have built relationships based on trust. A new hospital with new doctors with not grant you that luxury. Medical errors will happen.

    I say all this because I have been praying to God for R to stay in Texas for her education. My biggest heart break would be for R to go to Harvard, need medical care, have to come home to get that care and then have to drop out of school because it is too much to commute back and forth. I would hate for R to have worked her whole life for a dream which may evaporate in the blink of an eye.

    I am familiar with heart break. Without going into my background, God ripped my dream of becoming a medical doctor out from my tightly gripped hands. One day I was in medical school getting A’s in my classes. The next day I was septic and in organ failure. I exchanged becoming a physician with becoming a patient. To see someone’s dream shattered into a million pieces is something I never want to see again.

    I hope and pray R stays in Texas. I desperately want her to succeed. Sending much love, hugs and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Tough choices, but there’s one other consideration. The spiritual environment available at College Station versus Cambridge. I would pick Aggies For Christ. Looking forward to her choice.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Whatever choice Rebecca makes sounds like a great opportunity. If she goes to TX AM, she will be seeing my grandson, Patrick, there as will as my granddaughter Paloma. While my one week stay at University Hospital, I was a few doors from Rebecca. I prayed for her and her family outside the door to her hospital room. I will continue to have her in prayer in our Bible study. Xochitl and her family are also lifting up all of you in prayer. Stay strong in the faith and pray for understanding GOD’s plan for Rebecca regarding her health issues.

    Liked by 1 person

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