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Campus in shock over Valentine's Day automobile death of
Director of New Student and Family Orientation John McMillan

By By Wade Allen, Managing Editor, and Tiffany Schmidt, Layout Editor

John McMillan in file photo
John McMillan in a UNCP file photo

John McMillan, 41, director of New Student and Family Orientation, was killed in an automobile crash on Valentine's Day.

According to N.C. Highway Patrol records reported in the Fayetteville Observer, the accident occurred nine miles north of Raeford on N.C. Highway 211 around 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14.

A Pinehurst woman was also killed and four others were transported to a hospital in Moore County.

McMillan and his wife, Kelly, were traveling north when a Chevrolet Trailblazer passed another vehicle, sideswiped McMillan's Volkswagen and caused him to run head-on into an oncoming vehicle.

The Trailblazer then rammed another vehicle causing the second death, according to police records.

Kelly was flown to Chapel Hill Memorial Hospital and is expected to recover.

McMillan worked in the Office of Admissions for five years and was promoted to Director of New Student and Family Orientation in late 2003.

As the director, McMillan chaired the New Student Orientation Committee and coordinated new student placement testing, advising, registration, orientation and family orientation sessions for the summer, fall and spring terms.

He was also responsible for recruiting, training and supervising orientation leaders to assist with all aspects of the program.

Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Jackie Clark referred to McMillan as one of the "corner-stone leaders" of the division.

"My heart is sick," Clark said. "This is tragic. We are in shock. Our hearts go out to his wife, Kelly, his brother and two sisters."

"John was tremendously valuable to this University," she said. "He helped get students off to the best start possible with their college experience."

McMillan was a Red Springs resident and graduate of UNCP.

He was also a Chancellor's Club donor and celebrated his 41st birthday on Feb. 9.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said that McMillan's death is a "tremendous loss to all of us."

"He was a fine young man" full of "high integrity and honesty," he said. "I feel sadness ... just terrible grief. I knew John well enough to know that he was a fine person."

Dr. Harrington said that there are no words sufficient to describe McMillan's contribution to UNCP.

"More than anything else, John was a man of integrity and honor. He took great pride in this University and in his job," Dr. Harrington said.

Dr. Harrington said that McMillan's work in Enrollment Management, particularly his leadership in new student orientation, is evident on campus.

"John was able to touch the lives of thousands of UNC Pembroke students," Dr. Harrington said.

"His calm demeanor, reassuring smile, and his willingness to make certain that every student felt at home here at UNCP were hallmarks of his all too short tenure," he added.

Dr. Harrington went on to say that McMillan will be missed by all that knew him.

"He was a valued colleague, a tireless advocate for the University, and a wonderful man," Dr. Harrington added.

Born in Scotland County on Feb. 9 1968, McMillan served in the army and was a member of the First Baptist Church in Red Springs, a member of Masonic lodge 501 and had his master's degree in physical education from UNCP.

UNCP sophomore Addison McMillan, his nephew, asked the University community to, "just keep our family in your thoughts and prayers."

McMillan is survived by his wife Kelly McMillan, one brother James Don McMillan, and his wife Donna of Lumber Bridge, two sisters, one nephew and two nieces.

A funeral service will be held at Crumpler funeral home in Red Springs. The burial will be at Pine Lawn Memorial Park in Southern Pines.

Members of the Counseling and Testing Center encourage students and members of the community to stop by the office if any counseling services are needed.

There will be a book to sign outside McMillan's office until the funeral is over.


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Updated: February 5, 2009
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