Harry S. Truman Scholarship
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive federal scholarship granted to U.S. college juniors for demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service.
The scholarship, in the amount of $30,000, is to go towards a graduate education. 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. 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."
Each year, approximately 600 undergraduates receive the nomination of their universities to apply, of whom between 55–60 candidates will be selected for the scholarship, for an acceptance rate of approximately 10%.
On May 30, 1974, Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri sponsored 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 sponsored by William J. Randall of Missouri and 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 United States Statutes at Large as 88 Stat. 2276–2280, and the United States Code as 20 U.S.C. 2001–2013. It now operates as Program 85.001, governed by 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."  The Foundation's operations are overseen by full-time Executive Secretary Dr. Andrew Rich. Its endowment, which takes the form of a federal trust fund held in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is $55 million. Current Board members include Senator Roy Blunt, Senator Claire McCaskill, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Congressman Charlie Dent, and Congressman Ted Deutsch.
The scholarship is awarded to approximately 55-65 U.S. college juniors each year on the basis of four criteria: 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.
In order to apply for the scholarship, students must first win the nomination of their undergraduate university. Each undergraduate institution in the United States is allowed to nominate up to four students who have attended since freshman year, along with three transfer students. After nomination, annually the Foundation receives 600 applications, of whom between 55-60 will be selected each year. Each nominated application is then examined by a regional review panel, which selects finalists to interview. The interviews are conducted by panels of former Truman scholars, trustees of the board, and notable national public servants. These panelists then make final selections of scholarship winners, generally attempting to choose one from each of the 50 states. No particular career, service interest, or policy field is preferred during the process. Each year, the Truman Scholarship is awarded to one or two students from institutions that have never had a Truman Scholar.
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. Winners also benefit from a network of other scholars through the Truman Scholars Association and lasting friendship, 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 new scholars collaborate on policy projects. 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 jobs for a full year as part of the Truman Albright Fellows program.
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. Scholars also automatically become part of the Truman Scholars Association, the independent alumni association that works to foster additional opportunities and networking for Scholars.
Notable Truman Scholars
- See also: Truman Scholars category
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- Bob Morgan (1984), President and CEO of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
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- Wayne W. Williams (1985), Colorado Secretary of State
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- Autumn Fiester (1986), Senior Fellow at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania 
- Margot Rogers (1986), Chief of Staff to United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
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- Mark Lemley (1986), Professor of Law, Stanford Law School
- Michelle Alexander (1987), Associate Professor of Law, Ohio State University, civil rights advocate and writer
- Maryam Banikarim (1987), Chief Marketing Officer at Univision 
- Neil Gorsuch (1987), Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Brad Lander (1989), Member of the New York City Council, representing the 39th Council District in Brooklyn
- Catherine Sheehan (1989), Deputy Assistant Inspector General at the Department of Justice 
- George Herbert Walker IV (1989), CEO of Neuberger Berman
- Jason Saul (1989), CEO of Mission Measurement, Lecturer of Social Enterprise at Kellogg School of Management
- Noah Feldman (1990), Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
- Amy Hungerford (1992), Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies of English at Yale University
- Rich Constable (1993), former assistant U.S. attorney, Commissioner of the N.J. Department of Community Affairs
- Maj. John Carr (1993), former United States Air Force prosecutor at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp 
- Rodney Martin (1993), Former National Chairman of Reform Party USA and former member of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, Justice, Appeals Court Judge – YAN Court
- Rachel Paulose (1993), United States Attorney for Minnesota
- Stacey Abrams (1994), Georgia House Minority Leader, 84th District
- William J. Dobson (1994), Journalist and Author of The Dictator's Learning Curve.
- Naomi M. Barry-Perez (1995), Director of the Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor
- Glenn O. Brown (1995), former Executive Director of Creative Commons
- John Cranley (1995), Cincinnati City Councilmember
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- Michele Gavin (1995), U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, Former Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council and Senior Advisor to the President of the United States.
- Tiffany Graham (1995), Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at University of South Dakota School of Law
- Eric Greitens (1995), Founder of The Mission Continues
- Jenifer J Harr (1995), Senior Research Scientist, American Institutes for Research
- Maya Kulycky (1995), ABC News correspondent
- Ian Larkin (1995), Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School
- 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), International Trade Advisor at Senate Finance Committee
- Dayne Walling (1995), Mayor of Flint, Michigan
- Jake Zimmerman (1995), Missouri State Representative, 83rd District
- John King, Jr. (1995), United States Secretary of Education
- Phil Carter (1996), Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs
- Corine Hegland (1996), Writer, The National Journal, 2006 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism
- Terry Babcock-Lumish (1996), Professor, entrepreneur, policymaker. Founder & President of Islay Consulting LLC.
- Anton Orlich (1997), Portfolio Manager at CalPERS
- 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
- Leonardo Martinez-Diaz (1998), Deputy Assistant Secretary at United States Department of Treasury, former Fellow and Deputy Director at Brookings Institution
- Peter E. Leckman (1998), Partner, Langer Grogan & Diver, P.C.
- Leo J. Wise (1998), Chief Counsel, Office of Congressional Ethics, U.S. House of Representatives
- David Haskell (2000), Deputy Editor of New York Magazine; Co-founder of Kings County Distillery
- Mac Schneider (2001), Senator, District 42, North Dakota State Senate
- Jon Favreau (2002), President Barack Obama's Director of Speechwriting
- Cyrus Habib (2002), State Senator, Washington State Senate
- Heidi Williams (2002), MacArthur Fellow and Professor in Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Ryan Quarles (2005), State Representative, District 62, Kentucky House of Representatives, 2011–Present. Agriculture Commissioner-Elect, Commonwealth of Kentucky, 2015.
- Matt Delligatti (2007), Mayor of Fairmont, West Virginia
- Kesha Ram (2007), Member Vermont House of Representatives
- Warwick Sabin (2007), Member Arkansas House of Representatives
- Emily Calandrelli (2008), Host and producer for Xploration Station
- Michael Dakduk (2010), Former CEO of Student Veterans of America (SVA)
- Michael Tubbs (2011), Councilmember, Stockton, California
- Michael Long (2013), CEO of SailFuture
- Frankie Dakin (2013), Alderman of Millington, TN. Youngest elected official in TN.
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- What benefits do Truman Scholars receive?
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