Unlike the long-storied mysterious inhabitant of Loch Ness, the opportunity in front of David McMillan ’21 is no hoax. He has been awarded a prestigious scholarship to attend graduate school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where he will pursue a master’s degree in public policy.
The senior will attend the program as a Macmillan Scholar of the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, which is providing $35,000 for his study abroad.
“I hope this prepares me to be an agent of change in New Jersey and beyond,” says McMillan, who plans on law school in the future.
He will graduate from TCNJ with honors this month, completed bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a triple minor in classical studies, pre-law, and economics in hand.
During his time at the college, McMillan strove to make the most of the experience, participating in a host of clubs and activities and completing several internships, including one working for Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and another at Centurion, a Princeton-based organization that works to vindicate those wrongfully jailed.
McMillan says his favorite undergraduate experience was serving as an intern in the office of Trenton Mayor (and TCNJ adjunct professor) Reed Gusciora, where he worked on an array of issues including a proposal for an autonomous taxi network for the city.
He credited the institutional support he received at TCNJ with helping him take advantage of so many opportunities as an undergraduate.
“The faculty have done a great job at making the TCNJ experience all that it can be,” says McMillan, even as classes his senior year were moved to a remote setting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Macmillan scholarship is highly selective. Last year, students from Harvard and Georgetown universities and Amherst College were awarded funding.
McMillan will head to Scotland after working this summer at the Cato Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. He’s looking forward to studying at the venerable Scottish university — its graduates include Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Darwin, and three signatories of the Declaration of Independence.
McMillan said the city of Edinburgh is an innovator in public policy, citing its leadership on autonomous buses. A former player on the TCNJ men’s soccer team, McMillan is hoping to catch a few Hibernian F.C. matches, go castle-hopping, and explore historical sites — and his family roots — in Scotland and Ireland.
— Patricia Alex