Dayne Walling, 1995 MI
Mayor of Flint, Michigan
"The first picture I hung on the wall of my office at Flint City Hall after being elected Mayor in 2009 is the “Spirit” print designed for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. The print is based on an image of the U.S. Flag, with red bars, stars above the Lincoln Memorial, and the words from a famous Robert F. Kennedy speech to students of the University of California in October 1966 in which he offers us, “the opportunity and the responsibility to help make the choices which will determine the greatness of this nation,” and ends with a call to, “the fulfillment of the best qualities of your own spirit.” I work to live up to that standard every day, and I continue to be inspired by the standard of the scholarship’s namesake. It is the inspiration I have carried with me since the first night of the Truman Scholars Leadership Week at William Jewell College. I recall the gratitude I felt to be part of this living monument to public service. When the odds for renewal in Flint appear long, I consider the investment that has been made in me by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, and I keep pushing ahead." - Dayne Walling, Mayor of Flint, Michigan
Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Dayne Walling became the city's mayor in 2009. He is the product of Flint public schools, having graduated from Flint Central High School in 1992. He was named a Truman Scholar in 1995, while a student at James Madison College at Michigan State University. Dayne went on to study modern history and urban affairs in U.K. as a Rhodes Scholar before returning to the states to begin a career in public service.
He has worked on the staff of Mayor Anthony Williams in Washington, D.C. and for the Urban Coalition and Ready for K in Minnesota. In 2006, he moved back to Flint. One year later, he ran for mayor. He lost by only 581 votes to the incumbent in the closest Flint mayoral race in 30 years. Despite his loss, he continued to focus on the challenges the city faced. He started a citizens group called Flint’s Future Now. He is also the founder of 21st Century Performance, a management consulting firm.
Dayne ran for mayor again in 2009 and won. He assumed office on August 6, 2009 and was elected to a second term in 2011.
Photo courtesy of City of Flint, Michigan