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ACG Strathallan Alumnus Harvard Bound

ACG Strathallan’s David McGregor Grey is a huge fan of dreaming big – and it’s a mindset that has clearly paid off, with offers of place from 11 top-ranked US universities including Harvard, Duke and UCLA. 

David McGregor Grey News

Acceptance into multiple top-tier universities has seen David McGregor Grey spoilt for choice. Now the hard-working teen is Harvard bound, fired-up to take on – and transform – the world. 

Quantum Leap 
“Harvard feels like a golden ticket, and I’m determined to use this special opportunity to really make a difference and leave the world a better place than I found it,” says David.  “I might be a country lad raised on a small farm in New Zealand, but my dreams and ambitions are global.” 

With plans to major in physics, David is excited to begin classes in quantum, particle and nuclear physics, eventually specialising in plasma physics “to prepare for tomorrow’s fusion innovation”. 

“I want to position myself at the forefront of plasma physics research to help make clean nuclear fusion energy a practical reality.” 

Unbeatable US Experience 
The ACG Strathallan rising star has always had his sights set on studying in the US, attracted by the liberal arts curriculums and the potential to gain exposure to different cultures and perspectives. 

“In the US they take a broad approach to education, by focusing on the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences, so I’ll be able to dive deep into physics, and also study other interests such as linguistics and history. I’ll also be able to develop a really good understanding of the world and the people in it, so I can grasp the bigger picture for action on global issues.” 
The chance to experience life on a US college campus was another big drawcard. 

“I love the idea of all students living on campus, sharing dorms, dining together, studying and socialising!” 

Spoilt for Choice 
Despite receiving a jaw-dropping 11 offers from preeminent universities across the States, a ‘yes’ from Harvard made decision-making easy. 

“I feel very fortunate to have been accepted into Duke University, which is considered as elite as the Ivy League schools, as well as the prestigious liberal arts colleges Pomona and Bowdoin, and UCLA, the most applied-to university in the world,” says David. “But nothing can prepare you for the thrill of being accepted into Harvard and I’m incredibly excited for the opportunities ahead of me.” 

Good Friday, Good News 
David received his Harvard offer on Good Friday, while visiting his grandparents in Whitianga for the long weekend. 

“I looped in my other grandparents in Gisborne on FaceTime too, and when I clicked to open my letter from Harvard, confetti flew across my screen. I was in! I just sat there dazed and amazed. 

“It’s going to be such a buzz. I’m looking forward to late-night discussions in the dining hall and trips to Boston with new friends. I’ll get involved in student clubs and I’m looking forward to meeting all kinds of incredible people, whether they’re Nobel-prize winning professors, world business leaders, or fellow Harvard classmates from all corners of the globe. I also can’t wait to join a soccer team on campus - playing in the snow will be a first!” 

Hat Tip 
Now on the brink of this exciting new chapter, David feels a great sense of indebtedness to ACG Strathallan and all the teachers and staff who have supported him on his journey. 
“Strathallan gave me a thirst for learning. It also gave me countless opportunities to challenge myself outside the classroom, such as 1st XI football and Spanish debate. My teachers went above and beyond for me. I couldn’t fit US history into my timetable, so Mr Baxter stayed after school every Friday to tutor me about the American Civil War, US presidents and the Gilded Age of Vanderbilt and Rockefeller. My terrific Spanish teacher Mrs Frontan also stayed after school to teach me Spanish literature over and above the Spanish language we learned in class. 
“Meanwhile Mrs Llewellyn opened my mind to a future in physics, Mr Richardson ignited my interest in linguistics and psychology, and Mr Balchin handled the school side of the lengthy Harvard application process. I feel so much gratitude for their amazing support.” 

Cornerstones to Success 
But a supportive learning environment is only one vital pillar of an ACG Education. David says the school’s strong academic focus has also helped lay rock solid foundations for future success. 
“I feel the robust Cambridge International curriculum at ACG Strathallan has equipped me for the depth and pace of learning needed at Harvard. Top universities recognise Cambridge A levels, most of them give course credits towards your degree.”   

Of course, hard work, commitment and determination are other key ingredients, all of which David has in spades. His advice to those looking to follow in his footsteps? 
“Dream big and have confidence in yourself. Good things happen when you work hard and take your opportunities.”