Truman Foundation awards College

by Mark Bubriski | 10/23/98 5:00am

Dartmouth received the Truman Foundation Honor Institution award yesterday in recognition of its participation in the Truman Scholarship program.

Executive Secretary of the Harry Truman Scholarship Foundation Louis Blair said the College is commendable because its Truman Scholars have had courage to be individuals. He said he believes this comes from a Dartmouth education.

The award was established a few years ago to honor institutions that actively encourage outstanding students to pursue careers. These institutions must have also been successful in helping students win Truman Scholarships.

To receive the award, a school must have had a Truman Scholar in the past year.

This past spring, Chris Nybo '99 received a Truman Scholarship for his dedication to the Tucker Foundation, Big Brother/Big Sister, New Hampshire Legal Assistance and other public service organizations.

"I never thought I'd be competitive for a program like this," Nybo said. "But I found that they don't just look for straight-A students but for people with a passion to do positive things in the community through volunteer work or public service."

Nybo said he will use $3,000 of the $30,000 grant for his senior year at Dartmouth and the rest for law school. Other recipients of the scholarship have used it to subsidize graduate school in public service and administration, foreign service and other fields of public service.

This year, Columbia University, Claremont McKenna College, Mississippi State University and the University of Chicago also received awards.

English Professor Monika Otter, chair of the Committee for Graduate Fellowships, accepted the plaque, which depicts Harry S Truman, on behalf of the College.

Former Truman Scholar Thomas Burach '82, who is also the former president of the Dartmouth Outing Club, attended the award presentation as president of the Truman Scholars Association -- a separate national organization which links the approximately 1,900 Truman Scholars and provides continuing education for them through conferences.

Burach also worked for then New Hampshire Senator Gordon Humphrey on environmental legislation for over two years before he used the grant to attend the University of Virginia Law School.

Burach is currently president of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, and for the past nine years he has practiced law in Manchester with Sheehan, Phinney, Bass and Green Professional Association.

Potential Truman Scholars must be nominated by their college or university. Every year, 700 to 800 students are nominated. The primary criteria for selection are an extensive record of campus and community service and commitment to a career in government or to the non-profit and public service sectors.

This large group of applicants is narrowed down to about 225 finalists through a lengthy application process. The finalists are then interviewed by regional panels, and 75 to 80 scholars are selected to receive the $30,000 grants.