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Harry S. Truman Foundation Designates MU as 2009 Honor Institution

University of Missouri recognized for encouraging public service

June 18, 2009

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation has announced that the University of Missouri is one of two universities that has been designated a 2009 Truman Foundation Honor Institution. Foundation President Madeleine K. Albright awarded the designation to MU based on the university's promotion of the values of public service and sustained success in helping students win Truman Scholarships.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be recognized for the success of our students and the interest and leadership they have shown in pursuing careers in public service," MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. "As the state's largest public land-grant institution, it is our responsibility to promote an educated citizenry and encourage leadership and public service in young people."

The Truman designation recognizes institutions that actively encourage students to pursue careers in public service. Staff members at the MU Fellowships Office work with faculty and staff from every school and college to assist students with strong records of academic achievement, leadership, and service to pursue opportunities related to their personal, academic and career goals.

"The Truman designation adds to the university's reputation for civic involvement as indicated by the recent classification of MU as a "Community Engaged Campus" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching," said Vicky Riback Wilson, MU service learning and fellowships coordinator.

The service-learning program at MU is one of the largest in the nation - each year, more than 3,000 students contribute more than 120,000 hours of community service while earning academic credit. MU students contribute thousands of hours to community projects, including mentoring and tutoring young people, visiting and assisting the elderly, working at animal shelters, designing Web sites for community agencies and many other activities.

Another criterion for the Truman Honor is helping students obtain Truman Scholarships. Fellowship staff members help students apply for external, nationally competitive scholarships, including the Truman Scholarship, and grants, known as fellowships. Throughout the years, Mizzou has had 14 Truman Scholars. The scholarship is highly selective and given to approximately 65 college juniors throughout the nation. This year, MU student Rick Puig was named a Truman Scholar, and in 2008, MU students Laura Merritt and Jennifer Kimball were named Truman Scholars.

"MU students have a strong record of competing with the best and brightest students in the country," Wilson said. "The Fellowships Office helps them identify opportunities to do so and provides support and encouragement to help them succeed."

Other public service opportunities at MU include:

  • Minor in Leadership and Public Service
  • Honors College Community Involvement Program (HCCIP)
  • Civic Leaders Internship Program (CLIP)
  • Peace Corps Fellows Community Engagement Seminars

In September, Harry S. Truman Foundation Executive Secretary Frederick Slabach will visit MU to present the award.

For more information about service learning and fellowships at MU, visit, and