Why YOU Should Host a Finalist Dinner

By Jane Rock Costanza (WY ’91)

“It’s that time of year again! 
In just a few months, Truman finalists will be gathering around the
United States for their Regional Review Panels. 
As has become tradition, The Truman Scholars Association (TSA) is
organizing a series of Truman Scholar Finalist Dinners in each city, the night
before the Panel.  Finalist Dinners
provide an outlet for current Scholars to meet potential Truman Scholars and
answer questions about the Truman Scholarship program.”
 – TSA
Board of Directors

The above is the prelude to a call for current Scholars to
volunteer as hosts for one of the many finalist dinners and/or meet and greets
that will begin in March throughout the country.

As the host of the Denver area finalist dinner last year, I
encourage fellow Scholars to step up and volunteer to host this year. TSA
provides all the information necessary to make the job of host run smoothly.
The benefit of this is that the hosts are able to concentrate on the fun part
of the job.

Finding a local venue is part of that fun. It offers the
chance to really reflect upon your city and to see it through the eyes of
visitors. Once the venue is locked in, a great time is to be had in connecting
with area Scholars as well as tracking down a few “lost” Scholars in
the region.

Because of the unique rapport among Scholars, the pre-dinner
ice breaker in Denver last year with Executive Secretary Fred Slabach (MS ’77) and
area Scholars felt like old home week. Mr. Slabach gave a brief presentation on
the current status of the Foundation, and then area Scholars were able to get
acquainted (translate: swap war stories about our own interviews, catch up with
each other on our post-university lives, and exchange information for future

The opportunity to share our own experiences, answer
questions and to mentor the new finalists was heartwarming to say the least. To
see the new group of potential Truman Scholars and outstanding individuals walk
in, size each other up as adversaries, and then to watch them walk out together
as friends and colleagues, was priceless.

Hosting a finalist dinner is such a small way to give back
to the Foundation that has given each of us so very much. I encourage you to
volunteer. For more information or to sign up, visit http://www.trumanscholars.org/events/spring2011.

Jane Rock Costanza (WY
’91) recently retired from the State of Colorado School for the Deaf and the
Blind where she was a member of the counseling, diagnostic and outreach teams
specializing in at risk youth, program development, state wide consulting, and
working with students with multiple disabilities. Her newest venture will begin
in March, volunteering with cyclists who have sustained traumatic brain
injuries and those with other adaptive needs.





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