Truman Scholarship

Truman Scholarship

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a federal scholarship granted to U.S. college juniors for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service. According to the "Washington Post", the Truman Scholarship's "sole aim is to pick out people with potential to become leaders—then provide support to help them realize their aspirations." [ [ Present Scholars, Future Leaders] ]

Congress created the scholarship in 1975 as a living memorial to the 33rd president of the United States. Instead of a statue, the Truman Scholarship is the official federal memorial to its namesake president.


On May 30, 1974, Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri sponsored S.3548 [ [ S.3548] ] , formally titled "A bill to establish the Harry S. Truman Memorial Scholarships." Symington held the same Class 1 Senate seat that Truman had held from 1935-1945 before becoming Vice President. The Senate passed the bill on August 2, and the House followed suit on December 17. Two similar House bills, H.R.15138 [ [ H.R.15138] ] sponsored by William J. Randall of Missouri and H.R.17481 [ [ H.R.17481] ] sponsored by James G. O'Hara of Michigan, were set aside in favor of Symington's bill.

The bill was signed by President Gerald Ford and enacted as Public Law 93-642 on January 4, 1975 and entered the as United States Statutes at Large as 88 Stat. 2276-2280, and the United States Code as 20 U.S.C. 2001-2013 [ [ 20 U.S.C. 2001-2013] ] . It now operates as Program 85.001, governed by 45 CFR 1801 [ [ 45 CFR 1801] ] as published in the Code of Federal Regulations in the Federal Register.


The Truman Scholarship is administered by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, an independent federal executive branch agency. It is governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees headed by President Madeleine Albright, who says the foundation "serves as a gateway for America's public service leaders" and "does a remarkable job of identifying future change agents." Eight board members are appointed by the U.S. President, including a state governor, a city or county chief executive, a federal judge, a state judge, a representative of higher education, and three members of the public. The remainder of the board comprises two Senators, two Representatives, and the United States Secretary of Education (ex-officio). [ [ Truman Scholarship Foundation members] ] The Foundation's operations are overseen by full-time Executive Secretary Frederick G. Slabach. Its endowment, which takes the form of a federal trust fund held in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is $55 million.


The scholarship is awarded to approximately 60-65 U.S. college juniors each year on the basis of four criteria [ [ Primary selection criteria for scholarship] ] : service on campus and in the community, commitment to a career in public service (government, uniformed services, research, education, or public interest/advocacy organizations), communication ability and aptitude to be a "change agent," and academic talent that would assure acceptance to a first-rate graduate school. More broadly, Truman Scholars possess intellect, leadership skills, and passion that would make them a likely force for the public good in any field. [ [ Who are Truman Scholars?] ]

Application process

Candidates are selected after completing a written application and a finalist interview. Roughly six hundred to seven hundred students are nominated (no school may nominate more than four), and up to 65 are selected. [ [ How many students participate in the competition each year?] ] No particular career, service interest, or policy field is preferred during the process. Furthermore, the Truman Scholarship is often awarded to students from schools that have never before had a Truman Scholar. [ [ There has never been a Truman Scholar from my school. Do I have a chance?] ]


Scholars currently receive an award of $30,000 going toward up to three years of graduate education leading to a career in the public service. [ [ What benefits do Truman Scholars receive?] ] Winners also benefit from a network of other scholars, which is encouraged by the Truman Scholars Leadership Week at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri during which newly minted scholars collaborate on policy projects. Following their senior year, more than half of scholars accept a 10-week Summer Institute internship in Washington, D.C., which features additional professional development training. Of this group, a small number continue federal agency internships for a full year as part of the Truman Fellows program. Those enrolled in law school also benefit from the Public Service Law Conference for students between their first and second years.

Certain graduate and professional schools give some degree of priority and funding to applicants who are Truman Scholars. Truman Scholars are exempt from taking the written section of the U.S. Foreign Service Exam.

Notable Truman Scholars

:"See also: category"


* Ernest Calderon (1977), Member of the Arizona Board of Regents [ [ Ernest Calderón named Man of the Year for 2004 ] ]
* Janet Napolitano (1977), Governor of the State of Arizona, 2003-
* Frederick G. Slabach (1977), Executive Secretary of the Truman Scholarship Foundation
* Dwight Diveley (1978), Director of Finance for the City of Seattle [ [] ]
* Awilda R. Marquez (1978), Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses, Denver
* Keith B. Richburg (1978), Author and correspondent for the Washington Post [ [ Keith Richburg - Official Site of Washington Post Reporter and Author of Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa ] ]
* Robert J. Van Der Velde (1979), candidate for Judge, Lake County (OH) Court of Common Pleas


* Jeffrey Toobin (1980), senior legal analyst for CNN and staff writer at The New Yorker
* David Adkins (1981), Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center
* Linda Epperly (1981), Assistant United States Attorney for Oklahoma
* Bill Halter (1981), Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
* Dan Sichel (1981), Deputy Associate Director, Division of Research and Statistics, Federal Reserve
* George Stephanopoulos (1981), broadcaster and political advisor
* David Cooley (1982), Deputy Governor of Tennessee
* Matt Crowl (1982), Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Chicago
* Russ Dallen (1982), Editor-in-chief of The [ Daily Journal]
* Leslie Koch (1982), President of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation [ [ Press Release, Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation ] ]
* Laurel McFarland (1982), Executive Director, National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration [ [ NASPAA - National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration ] ]
* Andra Samoa (1982), CEO of American Samoa Power Authority [ [ Pacific Magazine: AMERICAN SAMOA: New Power Authority CEO Controversial Selection ] ]
* Thomas Sugrue (1982), professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania
* Roosevelt Thompson (1982), community leader, Little Rock, Arkansas
* Chris Coons (1983), County Executive, New Castle County, Delaware
* Todd F. Gaziano (1983), Director of the Center for Legal & Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation [ [ Todd F. Gaziano ] ]
* Luis Ubiñas (1983), President of the Ford Foundation
* William Mercer (1984), United States Attorney for Montana
* William E. Thro (1984), Solicitor General for the Commonwealth of Virginia [ [,1249,600142869,00.html Deseret Morning News | Laws test states' rights ] ]
* Autumn Fiester (1986), Senior Fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania [ [ Center for Bioethics ] ]
* Michael W. Welch (1986), Director, National Association of Air Traffic Specialists, Mayor Pro Tempore, North Pole, Alaska [ [] ;] [ [ North Pole, Alaska - HOME ] ]
* Maryam Banikarim (1987), Chief Marketing Officer at Univision [ [ Press Release: Univision Names Maryam Banikarim Chief Marketing Officer ] ]
* Neil Gorsuch (1987), Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
* Catherine Sheehan (1989), Deputy Assistant Inspector General at the Department of Justice [ [ DOJ/OIG Organization - Oversight and Review Division Text Version ] ]


* Maj. John Carr (1993), former United States Air Force prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp [ [ Two Prosecutors At Guantanamo Quit in Protest: Rather than take part in military trials they considered rigged against alleged terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba JESS BRAVIN / Wall Street Journal 1aug2005 ] ]
* Rodney Martin (1993), National Chairman of Reform Party USA and former member of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs
* Rachel Paulose (1993), United States Attorney for Minnesota
* Stacey Abrams (1994), Georgia State Representative, 84th District
* Glenn O. Brown (1995), former Executive Director of Creative Commons
* John Cranley (1995), Cincinnati City Councilmember
* Daniel S. Fridman (1995), Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General
* Michele Gavin (1995), International Affairs Fellow at Council on Foreign Relations
* Tiffany Graham (1995), Assistant Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law
* Jenifer J Harr (1995), Senior Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research
* Maya Kulycky (1995), ABC News correspondent
* Edward Miguel (1995), Associate Professor of Economics at UC-Berkeley
* Heidi A Ramirez (1995), Director, Urban Education Collaborative at Temple University College of Education
* Darci L Vetter (1995), Director for Agricultural Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
* Jake Zimmerman (1995), Missouri State Representative, 83rd District
* Jedediah Purdy (1996), Author and Professor, Duke University School of Law
* Justin Phillips (1997), Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University
* Noam Scheiber (1997), Senior Editor of The New Republic


* David Haskell (2000), Editor of Topic Magazine
* Matt Delligatti (2007), Councilman Fairmont, West Virginia


External links

* [ The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation]
* [ Truman Alumni Directory on]

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