- By Mary Jane Dunlap
The Harry Truman Scholar-ship Foundation of Washing-ton, D.C.,
has selected KU as a Year 2000 Truman Foundation Honor Institution
Selection for the honor is based on a university's
- active encouragement of outstanding young people to pursue
careers in public service;
- sustained success in helping its students with Truman Scholarships;
- having a student named a Truman Scholar in 2000.
A total of 13 KU students have been named Truman Scholars since
the scholarship was established to honor the former president
in 1981. The Truman Foundation annually awards 75 to 80 merit-based
scholarships to college juniors who plan to attend graduate school
in preparation for careers in public service. The scholarships
provide up to $30,000.
Kansas state Rep. David Adkins, R-Lenexa, was the first KU student
to receive a Truman Scholarship, in 1981. This spring, Mark D.
Bradshaw, an American studies major from Walnut, was named a
Louis H. Blair, executive secretary of the Truman Scholarship
Foundation, will present the award, a plaque of Harry Truman,
during the fall 2000 semester at KU. Other recipients this year
are Oklahoma State University, Stillwater; the University of
Minnesota, Minneapolis; the University of Texas at Austin, and
Willamette University, Salem, Ore.
KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said, "We are proud to be
selected for this award. Barbara Schowen, who directs KU's honors
program, her staff and many faculty share this honor for their
dedication in encouraging and assisting our brightest and best
students who qualify for Truman Scholarships to enter the competition
Blair also praised Schowen for outstanding work.
Schowen compared the preparation of Truman Scholars to that of
long-distance runners for competition. "Just as a runner
has coaches and trainers, a lot of people, especially our faculty,
are involved in helping our applicants succeed.
"I think one of the reasons we were selected for this award
is that KU has done so well with finalists," Schowen said.
"In the last two years, we have had three to four finalists
going into the last round of competition. This year KU and Kansas
State were the only public universities to have all four nominees
[the limit allowed] selected as finalists.
"To have four finalists this year is a great tribute to
the quality of our students and the education they receive at
KU," Schowen said.
Schowen says she and her staff work at keeping students focused
and finding faculty advisers to mentor students for the Truman
and other scholarships.
Truman applications require essays about a student's career plans,
leadership work and their graduate study needs. All Truman applicants
are required to write a policy proposal to a government official
identifying a problem and offering a solution.
Faculty not only help students prepare their essays, but sit
in mock interviews to give finalists experience in answering
questions posed by selection committees.