Princeton University junior awarded Truman Scholarship

By: David Campbell
   Princeton University junior James R. Williams has been named a 2005 Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the university said.
   Mr. Williams is majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He was among 75 students from 65 colleges and universities nationwide who were chosen from 602 candidates for scholarships, the university said.
   Former Secretary of State and foundation President Madeleine K. Albright announced the selection of the 2005 Truman Scholars, the foundation said Tuesday. The students were elected by 19 independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of making a difference. Candidates were nominated by 299 colleges and universities, the foundation said.
   The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the nation’s 33rd president. The foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or public service. There have been 2,405 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977, the foundation said.
   Each scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be in the top quarter of their class and committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector, the foundation said.
   Mr. Williams is from Portland, Ore. He is chairman of the Student Volunteers Council, Princeton’s largest student organization, and is an officer of the Religious Life Council, an interfaith group at Princeton. Last fall, he received the Woodrow Wilson School’s R.W. van de Velde Award for outstanding work in a public policy task force on U.S. election reform, the university said.
   He also works with Campus Compact, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting civic engagement in higher education, and he was co-editor of a book — published by the group — titled, "Students as Colleagues: Expanding the Circle of Service-Learning Leadership," the university said.
   Mr. Williams plans to attend law school and then return to Portland to work with nonprofit organizations and elected officials. Eventually, he plans to run for elected office, according to Princeton.
   While attending Princeton, Mr. Williams has returned to Portland each summer to run a program that helps high school students develop skills to deal with education funding and curriculum issues.
   The 2005 Truman Scholars will assemble in May for a weeklong leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. They will receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo.