April 3, 2005

Two undergraduates win coveted award

Two University of Chicago undergraduates, Kristin Greer Love and Anyu Fang, both third-years in the College, are among the 75 students selected by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation to be 2005 Truman Scholars. The announcement was made on March 29 by Dr. Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State and current president of the Truman Foundation, who said that the 75 Truman Scholars were elected based on "their leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of ‘making a difference,'" in a statement on the Truman Foundation website.

In all, 75 juniors from 65 American colleges and universities were chosen for the prestigious award out of the 602 students nominated this year. The Truman Scholarship Foundation, established by the United States Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd U.S. president, provides a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study to college students who wish to pursue careers in government or public service. Recipients also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some of the most prominent graduate schools. In addition, they may benefit from leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Since the first awards were given in 1977, there have been 2,405 Truman Scholars named by the foundation.

Fang, an economics concentrator, has been heavily interested in the inner workings of Washington since his parents immigrated to Virginia 11 years ago from China. For the past two years, Fang has interned at Amnesty International in Washington. At the University, he is a board member and former vice-president of the community service RSO called The Giving Tree, founder and president of the French Club, and a council member of the Dean's Advisory Council.

For Fang, the honor of the Truman Scholarship is a culmination of an exhausting, but rewarding five-month long process that involved advice and consultation from many professors, advisors, and friends as he put together his application and went to interviews. "During the many stages of the selection, I have come to appreciate, even more than before, what it means to be a part of the U of C community—a place of debate, self-reflection, and a deeply personal engagement with the knowledge of the classroom," Fang said. "Without this support, I don't think I would have done well on the final interview in Washington, D.C. . . . I will be forever indebted to the many friends and professors who have dropped everything to help me prepare for this daunting experience."

Fang looks forward to using the Truman Scholarship in applying U of C's intellectual philosophy to his future work.

"On this campus, I have never believed that the ‘life of the mind' is only an intellectual investment in books; for me, it is about how my textbooks speak to the real world and how I can apply it," Fang said.

Love, an Illinois native concentrating in history and Law, Letters and Society, advocates heavily for children's and environmental rights. She also is a leader in the Campus Green Initiative, an organization dedicated to improving campus environmental sustainability. Love is a docent education intern at the Smart Museum, and a member of the Education Advisory Committee, where her goal has been promoting arts integration as part of educational reform.

"I am deeply humbled and honored to receive the Truman Scholarship and to join a community of young people who are dedicated to achieving social justice through public service," Love said. "I am greatly indebted to the College and to the city of Chicago for the tremendous academic, civic, and cultural educations that I have enjoyed during my time here.  I firmly believe that education confers not only knowledge, but also responsibility." She said she is thankful for the organizations she became involved in at the University.

This year's scholars will assemble on May 15 for a weeklong leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 22, 2005.