McNeese student finalist for international scholarship

By AnaClare Barras | Nov. 7, 2023

A McNeese State University senior is a finalist for a Rhodes Scholar.

Sam Gil is a senior majoring in mass communication from Ville Platte, and he plays an active role in his school’s community. Gil is a member of the McNeese Honors College, the president of the Student Government Association, president of the Interfraternity Council, a member of Kappa Sigma Theta-Rho, part of the undergraduate advisory committee for his fraternity and a student member of the Louisiana Board of Regents.

“The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and one of the most highly regarded international scholarships available,” said McNeese president Dr. Daryl Burckel. “McNeese is very proud of Sam being named a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship. It is a testament of his academic achievement, character and leadership skills.”

Gil said he applied for the scholarship when he was in the Governor’s Fellowship Program, which allows college student leaders to experience public policy in action and learn the history and current affairs of Louisiana government.

“I applied because, ultimately, nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Gil said.

The Rhodes Scholarship program first started in 1902. It funds two years of graduate studies for its scholars at the University of Oxford, in the United Kingdom. Scholars also participate in retreats, workshops, conferences, discussions and social events at Rhodes House in central Oxford.

According to the Rhodes Trust website, criteria for selection include demonstrated scholarly achievement, character, leadership potential, and commitment to others and the common good.

Gil will travel to Denver, Colorado later this week for the final interview and selection. He is one of 12 finalists in district 13 representing Louisiana, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Good luck, Sam!