Last week the 2008 Truman scholarship award winners were announced. The Truman foundation was established by an Act of Congress in 1975 and annually conducts a nationwide competition to identify “persons who demonstrate outstanding potential for and who plan to pursue a career in public service.” According to the Foundation’s website, “Each year hundreds of college juniors compete for roughly 80 awards. The rigorous selection process requires that good candidates have a strong record of public service, as well as a policy proposal that addresses a particular issue in society. Firmly rooted in President Truman’s belief that education promotes the general welfare of our country, the Truman Scholarship remains committed to encouraging future “change-agents” of America. Many of those chosen as scholars go on to serve in public office, as public defenders, leaders of non-profit organizations, and educators.”
Given that Catholic higher education aspires, among other things, to nurture future leaders of this sort, it is encouraging to see that 5 of the 65 Truman scholars for 2008 come from Catholic institutions. Unless I missed something in my quick count, all are, interestingly enough, from Jesuit schools. I looked back through the past few years of award winners and that pattern seems to hold.
You can read more about Truman Scholars here.