Truman award goes to KU

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 Award recipient.

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 Truman Scholar.

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 each year."

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.

 

 

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July 14, 2000
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