Matt Scogin, a Hope College junior from
Portage, has been named a finalist for the national Harry S.
The announcement was made by the Harry S. Truman
Scholarship Foundation earlier this month. It is the second
year in a row that a Hope student has been named a finalist.
There are 202 finalists from 144 institutions,
chosen from among approximately 700 students nominated by
their college or university. Following interviews in the
coming weeks, approximately 80 scholarship recipients will
be named in late March and early April.
The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive,
merit-based award offered to U.S. citizens and also U.S.
nationals from the Pacific Islands who want to go to
graduate school in preparation for a career in public
service. The award includes a $30,000 grant for graduate
study, as well as participation in leadership development
programs and special opportunities for internships and
employment with the federal government.
"The Truman competition seeks to identify college
juniors who will be change agents in public service after
graduation," said Dr. Marc Baer, who is the Truman
Scholarship faculty representative at Hope as well as a
professor of history. "Matt Scogin has maintained a
remarkable record of elected leadership and political
involvement since he was a freshman in high school."
"In every instance, he has been a leader who
inspires and motivates others to accomplish a goal that
transcends differences," he said. "During the two years
that I have known him, integrity stands out as his most
defining character trait."
Scogin is majoring in economics and political
science. He is currently enrolled in the college's
Washington Honors Semester in Washington, D.C.
His many activities at Hope have included Student
Congress, of which he served as vice president during the
1999-2000 school year; Hope College Model United Nations, of
which he was secretary general during 1999-2000; and
chairing the Hope College Republicans. He has also been
involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Pew
Society, and has been a student assistant during Hope's
In 2000, Scogin was elected a precinct delegate
for Kalamazoo County. Other recent political activities
have included managing Barb VanderVeen's successful campaign
for state representative, and serving as a campaign
volunteer for President George W. Bush and Governor John
Engler. He has also been an election volunteer.
Among other activities, he has been a volunteer at
the Holland Museum and with Habitat for Humanity. He has
also been a Bible study leader and Sunday school teacher.
He has consistently been named to the college's
Dean's List. In 1999, he received a Political Science Book
Award at Hope.
He is a 1998 graduate of Portage Northern High
School. He is the son of Duane and Deborah Scogin of
A total of four students who are Michigan
residents are among the 202 finalists for awards in 2001.
In addition to Hope, the Michigan schools with finalists
include Alma College, Eastern Michigan University and
Michigan State University.