Two Yale Students Claim Truman Scholarships

Michael S. Bernstein and Andrew D. Klaber, two Yale College juniors, were among 76 students from 63 colleges nationwide who recently were awarded scholarships from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Madeleine K. Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and former U.S. Secretary of State, announced that the scholars were elected by 20 independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of “making a difference.” The Scholars were selected from among 635 candidates nominated by 305 colleges and universities. Each selection panel interviewed finalists from a 3 - 4 state region and elected one Scholar from each state and one or two at-large Scholars from the region. Each panel typically included a university president, a federal judge, a distinguished public servant and a past Truman Scholarship winner.

Bernstein, who resides in Toronto, is majoring in political science and seeks a master’s degree and further study in American foreign policy. “I was extremely excited and honored to learn that I was one of the 2003 Truman Scholars,” Bernstein said. “There were many very qualified candidates, and I feel lucky to be among the winners. The opportunities provided by the scholarship will be invaluable to me as I pursue a career in public service. Specifically, I hope to spend my career working on international development issues. Alleviating global poverty and hunger is the challenge of my generation, and I want to do my part.”

Klaber, majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics, and International Studies, is a resident of Buffalo, Illinois.” There are many people at Yale to whom I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude for receiving this honor,” Klaber said. “My peers constantly engage me in perceptive discussions and the professors at this University provide an astoundingly wonderful undergraduate education. With their help and the support of my family, the Truman scholarship became a reality.” He seeks an MBA and a JD and wants a career in public service.

Each scholarship provides $30,000 - $3,000 for the senior year and $27,000 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, be in the top quarter of their class and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.

Congress established the Foundation in 1975 as a memorial to our 33rd President. The activities of the Foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury Department. There have been 2,253 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.

The 2003 Truman Scholars will assemble on May 18 for a week-long 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 25. Visit for a listing of all of the 2003 Scholars and more information on the Foundation.

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