Truman Foundation honors the CollegeBy Jennifer Leovy
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has conferred the Truman Foundation Honor Institution Award on the College for its exemplary work in recognizing and encouraging excellent candidates for the Truman Scholarship.
Louis Blair, executive secretary of the Truman Scholarship Foundation presented the award to John Boyer, Dean of the College, who accepted on behalf of the University and the Truman Scholarship Committee at a luncheon Thursday, Jan. 21, in the Quadrangle Club. This is to stop and say thank you not just for the work in producing excellent applicants, but working with the students to help them get the best sense of who they are and how they can contribute, said Blair.
Boyer said he was delighted to accept the award. I cant think of a more appropriate way to honor a great president than to create a foundation to empower young people to go forward in public service, he said.
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the official federal memorial to honor the former president and his commitment to public service. The foundation awards scholarships to college students who wish to attend graduate school in preparation for their careers. There have been 1,902 scholars from 465 institutions in 22 years. Fourteen scholars have come from Chicago.
The University is dedicated to scholarship, and the original idea of (William Rainey) Harper was to educate intellectual elites who would also provide civic and educational leadership, said Boyer. And so I think the match between the work of the Truman Foundation and Chicago is a very tight one.
Former College Adviser Tim Blackman, now Associate Dean of Students, Social Sciences Division, chaired the committee from 1990 to 1998. Other members include Ralph Austen, Professor in History, Allen Sanderson, Senior Lecturer in Economics, and Francisco Santamarina, College Adviser, who succeeded Blackman.
Blackman said the committees goal is to find students who are leaders and who are likely to make a difference through public service. Truman scholar Lisa Boulden (A.B. 91, A.M. 92), assistant to Mayor Daley and liaison to Chicago Public Schools, said working with the screening committee helped her focus on her career and what she really wanted to do. Boulden noted the application process is time consuming, but absolutely one of the most valuable experiences you can have.
Other recent Truman Scholars include Abigail Waggoner (A.B. 98), who will attend graduate school in economics at Harvard, and Liz Evenson (A.B. 99), who also received a Marshall Scholarship to study at the Human Rights Law Research Center in Nottingham, England.
What distinguishes Chicago applicants is a really positive energy, said Blair. They are the best example of having inner light and energy.