Baylor Junior Named Truman Scholar

April 3, 2003
News Photo 1226

For the second year in a row, a Baylor University student has been selected for the prestigious Truman Scholarship. John Hill, a junior from Arlington, was one of 76 students chosen out of 635 applicants representing 305 colleges and universities nationwide. The scholarship, which is presented by the Harry S. Truman Foundation, provides $30,000 - $3,000 for the student's senior year and $27,000 for graduate study. Last year, Skye Perryman, a senior economics and philosophy major from Waco, was selected as a Truman Scholar.

"The Truman Scholarship is among the most competitive honors an American undergraduate can receive, and I am thrilled that Baylor has its first ever back-to-back recipients," said Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. "I am particularly encouraged because success in this prestigious competition affirms an effort central to our 10-year vision - namely, that we produce students who are not only first-rate thinkers, but who are also engaged as leaders and servants in their communities and society. Both John Hill and Skye Perryman exemplify those characteristics, and it is a tribute to our community that they are both here."

Hill, who is working on a double major in political science and Russian, serves as Baylor's student government external vice-president. Concerned about engaging Baylor students with Waco-area programs, he initiated the One Book, One Waco citywide reading program and also serves as a mentor for seventh grade students through the Waco Reads program. He is a member of the Alpha Chi and Golden Key honor societies.

"I have a passion to serve people and to build better communities," Hill said. "I feel that education is a central point in building better communities. Education empowers people, and I would like to enhance public education so that we may provide better and more quality instruction to students."

Hill interned for the United States Embassy in Canberra, Australia, last summer and also has held internships with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and the American Academy of Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. He plans to attend law school after graduation and eventually would like to run for public office.

"John has a remarkable record of commitment to public service, leadership and academic excellence," said Elizabeth Vardaman, associate dean for special projects and Baylor's Truman Scholar representative. "He has a fire in his soul to improve public education and to help cities cohere. In my visits with him throughout this year, I have been amazed at his ability not only to think critically and engage in selfless acts, but also to inspire others to rededicate themselves to the building of a more civil society. In my view, John perfectly represents all that the Truman Foundation aspires to foster through its programs."

In May, Hill will join the other 2003 Truman Scholars for a week-long leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and will receive his award in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo.

In addition to the monetary award, Truman Scholars receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to our thirty-third President. The Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The activities of the Foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the US Treasury. There have been 2,253 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.

For a listing of the 2003 Scholars and more information on the Foundation, see www.truman.gov.

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