Brigham Young University has awarded prestigious Ezra Taft Benson Scholarships to outstanding high school seniors from Salt Lake City and Fruit Heights, with studies to begin in the fall of 1991.

President Rex E. Lee announced that Sylvia Ramachandran of Salt Lake City and Shauna McPherson of Fruit Heights were among the 12 young men and 12 young women nationwide chosen on the basis of superior scholarship, leadership ability, high moral character and service to school, community and church. The Ezra Taft Benson Scholarship is the top scholarship award offered by BYU. Each grant is for a minimum of $12,000 for four years.The scholarships, which bear the name of the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were first awarded while David O. McKay was president in the mid-1960's.

Ramachandran attends Cottonwood High School. She has been editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and was a Sterling Scholar finalist in music and a National Merit finalist. She took second place in the 1990 Utah State Fair for music and third in the Mann Music Center (Philadelphia Orchestra) competition in 1989. She was a gold medalist in the Delaware Science Olympiad and a participant in the National Olympiad. She intends to major in music performance, pedagogy and English.

McPherson, who attends Davis High School, has maintained a 4.0 cumulative grade-point-average and has taken six advanced placement classes. She was sophomore class president and a Sterling Scholar finalist in visual art. She was a National Honor Society president and a volunteer on Teenline for two years. She plans to major in humanities or fine arts at BYU.

Other Benson Scholars from Utah include: Emily Bankhead, Michael Wayne Durham and Nephi Allred of Provo; Marshall Grant Bartlett and James Patterson of Orem; Shalane Hansen of Providence, Matthew T. Bentley, Amy Susan Cragun and Angela Denise Wentz of Logan; and Stanley Gordon of Vernal.