It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since the 2009 Truman Scholars National Conference was held in Washington, DC. In only two weeks, I’m excited to meet many of you again at our Reunion Weekend in Independence, Missouri, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Truman Scholars Leadership Week (TSLW).
I know that many of you are unable to attend the upcoming Reunion, but don’t fret! The Truman Scholars Association (TSA) is committed to bringing Scholars together, in person and otherwise. Programming this past year has included the National Conference and Reunion Weekend, as well as our In the Running Workshop for Scholars interested in elected office, and Finalist Dinners and Meet-and-Greets in cities around the country. Through these events, hundreds of Scholars have come together to connect and reconnect with each other. In addition to these in-person initiatives, TSA has also collaborated with the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation to enhance our virtual communication with Scholars through tools such as the Truman Scholars Blog and monthly email newsletter.
Of course, we can’t bring Scholars together without your help – all of these past events have relied on time, talent, and donations from fellow Scholars. Now’s the time to get involved and keep the momentum going. For instance, Terry (PA ’96) and Brian (MD ’01) Babcock-Lumish have organized a “Satellite Reunion” in London for Scholars who are unable to make it to the Reunion Weekend in Missouri. Kevin Lee (KY ‘98) has spearheaded a mentorship program for Scholars and Truman-Albright Fellows in Washington, DC. Also, Bradley Bowen (MT ‘04) and Michele Buckley (CO ’06) have been instrumental in hosting a variety of events in Seattle. Recently, TSA announced the upcoming election for our Board of Directors, to be held in July; I encourage all of you to consider applying (more details forthcoming). These are only a few examples of how each of us can play a role in strengthening the Truman Scholar Community.
The upcoming Reunion Weekend is another opportunity for Scholars to take ownership of our community. During the Reunion, we have set aside time for Scholars to brainstorm ideas and ask questions about the future of the Truman Scholars Association. This process, however, will be incomplete without feedback and ideas from those of you who are unable to attend. The various initiatives mentioned above were the direct result of feedback from Scholars like you.
I challenge you to contribute to this conversation, even if you are unable to attend the Reunion. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @trumanscholars, post a comment on Facebook, or contribute to the discussion on LinkedIn with any thoughts or ideas you have for the future of TSA, which will greatly enhance our discussion at the Reunion.
I look forward to connecting with you soon – whether at the Reunion, another event, or virtually.
Pooja K. Agarwal
President, Truman Scholars Association