Three years ago, the Spy interviewed St. Michaels High School senior Jack Gill about his two-year campaign to gain acceptance at the United States Naval Academy.
On the face of it, Jack had all the “right stuff.” This included being the school’s valedictorian, class president, athlete, countless hours of volunteer work, and the blessings of Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen and 1st District Congressman Andy Harris. And yet, a dreaded email that spring crushed Gill’s dreams when he was notified that he had been placed on the “waitlist.” In other words, this was the subtle way in which the USNA informed applicants that they should be looking at other schools.
Through sheer determination, Jack did not go gently into retreat. He redoubled his efforts and, against all odds, was indeed accepted at the last minute into the Class of 2022.
The Spy remembered that background when one of our readers asked how Jack has fared since that interview took place. Beyond the initial challenges of Plebe (freshman) year of intensive physical and mental endurance tests, Gill and his classmates have also had to fulfill their academic requirements during the COVID pandemic, resulting in being restricted to dorm rooms for more than a year.
Given all this, the Spy was just as curious as some of our readers on Jack’s journey, and we drove over to Annapolis a few weeks ago for a quick check-in with him just outside the Academy’s Visitor Center to get an update.
This video is approximately five minutes in length.