Chronology

1975

The Congressional Act authorizing the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and Scholarship Program is enacted on January 4.

1977

The first national Truman Scholarship competition is conducted with awards totaling $20,000 per Scholar (which was generally considered at the time to cover the cost of four years of study even at elite private institutions of higher education). Recipients and parents are invited to a Truman Scholars Award Weekend at the Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO.

1982

Regional scholarship review panels begin to include past scholarship recipients as reviewers, a practice which continues to the present day.

1990

Truman Scholar Leadership Week (TSLW) is established to offer new Scholar classes the opportunity for a week of fellowship and policy discussions that culminates in the Truman Scholars Award Weekend on the campus of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.  Past recipients serve as Senior Scholars during the week as well as Panel Experts to critique Scholar presentations of group policy projects.

1991

The Summer Institute (SI) is established as an opportunity for Scholars to spend the summer in Washington, DC during the year between undergraduate and graduate study to participate in policy symposia and a guided eight-week internship in a government, nonprofit or public service organization.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation (HSTSF) invites Scholars to a Public Service Leadership Conference hosted by the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, VA.

1991-1994

HSTSF invites Scholars to regional conferences, entitled Renewing our Commitment to Public Service in America, co-hosted by the John C. Stennis Center.  Such events were held in Atlanta, GA (Dec 13-15, 1991), Durham, NH (Apr 24-26, 1992), Leesburg, VA (Nov 20-22, 1992), Chicago, IL (Apr 16-18, 1993), and Wilmington, DE (Nov 5-7, 1993), and Austin, TX (Dec 2-4, 1994).

1996

HSTSF initiates a reprisal of its Public Service Leadership Conference hosted by the George C. Marshall Foundation in Lexington, VA, March 21-24.  On the final day, fellow Truman Scholars lead an open forum to discuss plans to formally charter a Scholar support organization.

A group of Scholars meet in the HSTSF offices in Washington, DC on May 23 as the “Harry S. Truman Scholars Organization Interim Steering Committee” to consider plans to formally charter an organization and to conduct a series of Scholar-led outreach programs.

1996, 1997 & 2002

Truman Scholars coordinate policy retreats in 1996, 1997 & 2002 at Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, CO.

1997

Truman Scholars organize a workshop on Running for Office in February in Little Rock, AR.

The founding meeting of the Truman Scholars Association (TSA) is convened at HSTSF offices in Washington, DC on May 3-4.  Founding board members include:  Stacey Abrams (MS ‘94), David Adkins (KS ‘81), Tom Burack (NH ‘80), Mark Chalfant (CA ‘82), Paul Chattergy (HI ‘88), Chris Coons (DE ‘83), Cindy Crain (TX ‘91), Matt Crowl (IA ‘82), Awilda Marquez (MD ‘78), Bill Mercer (MT ‘84), Margot Rogers (VA ‘86), David Shipman (IL ‘81), Jeffrey Urbin (NY ‘84), and William “Brother” Rogers (MS ‘85).  The Foundation also contributes the part-time support of its Resident Scholar, Meredith Moss (UT ’95).

The Truman Scholars Association files Articles of Incorporation in Delaware and receives major gifts from Mike Morgan (AZ ’80) and Tom Burack (NH ’80) to help jump start an annual giving program.

1997 & 2000

Truman Scholar Jeffrey Urbin (NY ’84) organizes two fall weekend conferences on Truman and Presidential Succession at the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, NY.

1998 & 2001

TSA hosts two “Renaissance Weekend” conferences in 1998 and 2001 at the Truman Little White House in Key West, FL.

1998

HSTSF, in cooperation with the Stennis Center, invites Scholars to a weekend of activities that culminate in the commissioning of the aircraft carrier, USS Harry Truman, in July in Norfolk, VA.

The TSA website (www.trumanscholars.org) is launched in November, including a searchable database.

1999

The TSA application for designation as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity is approved by the IRS.  TSA establishes a membership dues structure, including a $500 “life member” category, which includes:  Kent Bradley (KS ’86), Tom Burack (NH ‘80), Brooks Burdette (GA ’81), Paul Chattergy (HI ’88), Cindy Crain (TX ’91), Wendy Leibowitz (DC ’80), Mike Morgan (AZ ’80), and David Shipman (IL ’81).  At least 40 additional Scholars join TSA and pay annual dues of $25 or more.

TSA begins the tradition of hosting pre-interview dinners of regional finalists for the Truman Scholarship.

HSTSF invites Scholars to participate in the 10th convening of TSLW at William Jewell College in MO.

TSA conducts a fundraiser in October in New York City, NY.  It also introduces a periodic newsletter mailed to all Scholars and initiates a list-serv via Yahoo, which later transitions to Google.

2000

TSA hosts a conference on civil rights at the Carter Center for Peace, February 4-6 in Atlanta, GA.

TSA hosts a weekend strategic planning retreat on July 29 in Washington, DC.

2001

HSTSF, in cooperation with the Stennis Center, conducts the Charles Murphy Ethics and Public Service Leadership Seminar at Duke University, January 12-14.

2002

TSA hosts a weekend summer symposium in July in Washington, DC, including a day of service.

2003

HSTSF, in response to joint letters from 60 interested Scholars nationally, hosts a one-day forum on March 22 on Scholar Accountability to enlist Scholar input.  The HSTSF Board subsequently appoints a Task Force that is chaired by Frederick Slabach (MS ’77).

The Stennis Center initiates an annual SI program of “Truman Scholars Day on Capitol Hill.”

TSA organizes a Worldwide Happy Hour on October 24 with celebrations held simultaneously in Ann Arbor (MI), Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Denver (CO), Los Angeles (CA), Minneapolis (MN), New Haven (CT), New York City (NY), Phoenix (AZ), San Francisco (CA), Seattle (WA), Washington (DC) as well as Cambridge, London and Oxford (UK).

2004

The HSTSF Board adopts the Accountability Policy proposed by its Task Force.  Beginning with 2005, Scholars are required to work in public service for three of the seven years following completion of a HSTSF supported graduate degree program or repay the scholarship money received with interest.

TSA initiates a mentorship program with more than 75 past Scholars who can be contacted under under the Truman Network tab of the HSTSF website about graduate programs, fellowships and career paths.

2005

The Truman-Albright Fellows Program is established to provide year-long professional experiences in Washington, DC following SI.

2006

The Truman community hosts a retirement party for longstanding Executive Secretary Louis Blair on February 18 in Annapolis, MD.

2006-2008

TSA develops, launches and manages the Truman Scholar Directory as a repository for each Scholar’s year of selection, state, academic institution and career field.  Scholars can also update their profiles. The directory is maintained on the Truman Scholarship Foundation website (www.truman.gov).

2008

TSA organizes and maintains 15 Regional Clubs in major cities and regions across the country to provide more opportunities to socialize with other Truman Scholars in local areas.

The DC and NYC Regional Clubs host Happy Hours in July; Bay Area hosts a brunch in September.

TSA forms a National Conference Steering Committee with support from HSTSF to develop a weekend symposia for all Scholars in the summer of 2009.  Pooja Agarwal (MO ’05) spearheads the planning and “Save the Date” invitations are issued in October.

2009

The DC Regional Club hosts a Happy Hour coinciding with the Presidential Inauguration, reintroducing many scholars to TSA who traveled to the Nation’s Capital for the momentous weekend.

TSA, with the help of Margaret Hu (KS ’93), compiles a book of resumes from Truman Scholars seeking positions in the Obama Administration. The resume book, with an endorsement from the TSA, is delivered to the Administration Transition Team and major federal agencies.

TSA launches the Truman Scholars Annual Fund to maintain the quality Scholar programming of the Foundation and to build TSA’s capacity to be of effective support to Scholars through the whole of their professional lives.  Initial pacesetter gifts are secured in an amount totaling more than $40,000 from the following:  Kent Bradley (KS ‘86), Cameron Brown (ID ‘95), Brooks Burdette (GA ‘81), Mark Cannon (OH ‘84), Chris Coons (DE ‘83), Jason Saul (IL ’89), and Horacio Trujillo (NM ‘94).  A total of 167 Scholars invest in the Annual fund as part of its public launch on June 19 in pursuit of a year-end goal of $100,000 in cash and pledges.

More than 300 Scholars + 100 guests gather for the Truman Scholars National Conference, underscoring themes of national service and social innovation on June 19-21, including a day of service. The event marks the widest assemblage of Scholars at one event in the scholarship’s 33-year history.

TSA issues its first Distinguished Service Award to TSA Past President, mentor, patron and friend Brooks Burdette (GA ’81), posthumously (October 6, 1961 – May 13, 2009).

TSA issues its first Leadership Awards to Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (NM ’77) and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice (DC ’84).