Truman Scholars Annual Fund Reaches Half-Way Mark to 2009 Goal

Truman Scholars Annual Fund Reaches
Half-Way Mark to 2009 Goal
Cameron Brown (ID ’95)

The Truman Scholars Association (TSA) formally started an Annual Fund
drive in late 2008 to benefit the activities of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship
Foundation (HSTSF).

This is not the first fundraising effort of the TSA, but it is the first
to direct the primary benefit to the HSTSF. It has also been the largest success
to date, and promises to continue to be a significant success into the future.

What is the Annual Fund?

The Truman Scholars Annual Fund is an alumni giving program. By
donating to the Annual Fund, you are supporting the maintenance and growth of
the rich programming that the HSTSF has supplied to Scholars over the last 20
years since it established Truman Scholars Leadership Week. You are also
helping to establish and strengthen the community that we have become by
supporting activities aimed to bring together Scholars of all years. The TSA
Board will invest the Annual Fund proceeds in close coordination with Executive
Secretary Frederick G. Slabach (MS ’77). Forward-thinking plans on the part of
both TSA and HSTSF are being made to build capacity for a sustainable scholar
development program aimed at enhancing the public service excellence of Scholars
across all class years since inception. The 2009 Truman Scholars National
Conference is the first fruit of this collaboration.

Why does the HSTSF need our
support?

As you may be aware, a Trust Fund was established by Congress in 1976
to support the HSTSF in perpetuity. However, as with all U.S. government trust
funds, this fund is mandated by law to be administered by the Treasury
Department and invested only in short term Treasury Bills. During the 80s, when
interest rates were high, the trust fund actually grew from the original $30M
to about $55M. However, since the early 90s, Treasury yields have not kept
pace. In the last three years, the HSTSF has found itself with a 30% lower draw
on the interest than it had in 2000, causing it to cut the number of
scholarships given in recent years from 85 to 65. At the same time, the cost of
education has increased significantly, while the amount of the scholarship has
remained at $30,000.

What have we accomplished to
date?

Annual Fund has collected donations from 167 Scholars totaling $46,500
in cash and $13,000 in additional pledges for 2009. All told, this puts us 60
percent of the way toward our $100,000 goal in 2009 with a head start on future
years of the drive via multi-year pledges of $38,000.

What do we still need to
accomplish?

We need to get all Scholars involved. Whether your donation is $1 or a
million, it COUNTS! A successful Annual Fund is a factor not only of the total
dollars raised, but also of the diffusion of participation. We believe that as
Truman Scholars, it’s our very nature to give, and in our best interest to
share with future Scholars the richness of our vibrant community evident at the
2009 National Conference and on our discussion groups. So do your part and
visit http://www.trumanscholars.org/giving
today to make a donation, then send an email to annualfund@trumanscholars.org and
pledge to continue giving next year and beyond!

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