MU honored with Truman Foundation award

Friday, June 19, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – MU was one of two universities in the nation to receive the 2009 Truman Foundation Honor Institution award, MU News Bureau reported in a news release Thursday.

By honoring MU with this award, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation recognizes the university's success in "encouraging the life of service," said Vicky Riback Wilson, MU's Fellowships Office coordinator. It is also a result of the day-to-day work of faculty and staff members who guide and motivate students to achieve high academic, leadership and service goals, she said.

The Truman award, coupled with MU's recent designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a "community engaged campus," highlights MU's commitment to developing students who are committed to the public good, Wilson said. By having plenty of opportunities for civic engagement, service learning and volunteering, MU creates a favorable environment that helps students learn to care about social issues, she said.

The Truman Foundation looks at institutions that currently have a Truman Scholar and show a history of having highly accomplished and motivated students pursuing public service careers.

Rick Puig, a junior majoring in political science and philosophy, is one of 60 Truman Scholarship recipients this year. He is the 14th student from MU to receive the scholarship. Taylor Rausch, a journalism major, was among the national finalists this year.

Last year, MU had two Truman Scholars out of 65 total, which put the university among 10 institutions across the country that had more than one scholar, Wilson said.

"For me, it's wonderful to be able to work with the high caliber of students we have here, who distinguish themselves and bring distinction to MU," Wilson said. "Our Truman designation is one more indication of how much MU values service to others."

The University of Iowa was the other U.S. university to receive the Truman Foundation award.

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