Announcing the 2020 Truman Scholars

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 PRESS RELEASE:  Embargoed for release at 5:00pm EDT, Wednesday, April 15, 2020.  

CONTACT: Terry Babcock-Lumish, (202)656-6386 or 




April 15, 2020, 5:00pm EDT; Washington, D.C.: Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced today the names of 62 exceptional college students from 55 U.S. colleges and universities who have been selected as 2020 Truman Scholars. The Truman Scholarship is the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States. 


The Truman Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 as the living memorial to President Truman and the presidential monument to public service. The Foundation’s mission is premised on the belief that a better future relies on attracting to public service the commitment and sound judgment of bright, outstanding Americans. In fact, it was this belief that led President Truman, when approached by a bipartisan group of admirers near the end of his life, to encourage 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 and from across the United States to public service. 


The 62 new Truman Scholars, mostly college juniors, were selected from among 773 candidates nominated by 316 colleges and universities.  They were recommended by sixteen independent selection panels based on the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders. The Executive Council of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees approved their selection. 


Selection panels met across the United States and included distinguished civic leaders, elected officials, university presidents, federal judges, and past Truman Scholarship winners. A listing of the new Scholars can be found on the Truman Foundation’s website:


Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, demonstrate academic excellence, and be committed to careers in government or the nonprofit sector. 


There have been 3,322 Truman Scholars selected since the first awards were made in 1977. Prominent Truman Scholars in government service include United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch (1987), Senator Chris Coons (1983), former Arizona Governor and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (1977), former Secretary of Education John King (1995), former National Security Advisor Susan Rice (1984), Congressman Tom Malinowski (1985), Congressman Ted Deutch (1986), Congressman Greg Stanton (1990), Congressman Dusty Johnson (1998), Congressman Andy Kim (2003), Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (1994), former Ambassador Darci Vetter (1995), former Ambassador Michelle Gavin (1995), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (1981). Truman Scholars lead at all levels of government and throughout the nonprofit sector. 

 In 2020:  

  • Four institutions have a Truman Scholar for the first time: Berklee College of Music, Emmanuel College, Lafayette College, and Southern Connecticut State University; 

  • Seven institutions have two Truman Scholars: Boise State University, Colorado State University, Montana State University – Bozeman, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, and Washington University in St. Louis; 

  • Twenty-seven Truman Scholars attend public universities; 

  • Twenty-two attend private research universities; 

  • Twelve attend private liberal arts colleges; and 

  • One Scholar attends a service academy. 


For more information, please contact Truman Foundation Executive Secretary Terry Babcock-Lumish at (202)656-6386 or