Press Release: 2021 Truman Scholars

PRESS RELEASE: Embargoed for release at 5:00 PM EDT, Wednesday, April 14th, 2021


WASHINGTON, DC – Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Board of Trustees President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced today the 62 exceptional college students from 51 U.S. colleges and universities selected as 2021 Truman Scholars. The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

“The 2021 Truman Scholars reflect our country’s sustained commitment to the future of public service,” says Dr. Terry Babcock-Lumish, the Foundation’s Executive Secretary and a 1996 Truman Scholar from Pennsylvania. “This past year presented seemingly insurmountable challenges. Now is precisely the time to reinvest in diverse public servants who reflect America’s resourcefulness, resilience, and leadership.”

Highlights of our 2021 class include:

  • One institution has a Truman Scholar for the first time – University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
  • Ten institutions have multiple Truman Scholars – Boston College, Grinnell College, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Connecticut, University of Notre Dame, University of Washington, and Yale University.
  • Twenty-six Scholars attend public universities.
  • Twenty-four Scholars attend private research universities.
  • Ten Scholars attend private liberal arts colleges.
  • Two Scholars attend service academies.

Read the full list and biographies of our 2021 Truman Scholars here.

Truman Scholars demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a career in government or the nonprofit sector, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

The 62 new Truman Scholars were selected from 845 candidates nominated by 328 colleges and universities – a record number of applicants. They were recommended by seventeen independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. Regional selection panels met virtually and included distinguished civic leaders, elected officials, university presidents, federal judges, and past Truman Scholarship winners.

Established by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Harry S. Truman and national monument to public service, the Truman Scholarship carries the legacy of our 33rd President by supporting and inspiring the next generation of public service leaders. When approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, President Truman embodied this commitment to the future of public service by asking Congress to create a living memorial devoted to this purpose, rather than a traditional brick-and-mortar monument. For more than forty years, the Truman Foundation has fulfilled that mission: inspiring and supporting Americans from diverse backgrounds to public service.

Now, the 62 awardees join a community of 3,384 Truman Scholars named since the first awards in 1977. Prominent Truman Scholars  in government service  include United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch (1987), Senator Chris Coons (1983), Representative Ted Deutch (1986), Representative Dusty Johnson (1998), Representative Andy Kim (2003), Representative Tom Malinowski (1985), Representative Greg Stanton (1990), White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice (1984), National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (1997), former Arizona Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (1977), former Secretary of Education John King (1995), and Fair Fight founder Stacey Abrams (1994). 

Join the conversation online using the hashtag #Truman21. Follow the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation on Facebook @TrumanScholarship, Twitter @TrumanApp, and Instagram @TrumanFoundation.





Josh Sorbe

Development & Communications Officer