Each year, hundreds of college juniors across the nation compete for roughly 60 awards offered by the Harry S. Truman Foundation.
This year junior triple major in political science, economics and rhetorical studies, Patrick Campbell is among the many finalists.
The Truman Scholarship was founded in 1975 in memory of former President Harry S. Truman.
“Most presidents get a statue built to them [and] he didn’t want a statue, he wanted something that people could actually use,” Campbell said.
The scholarship acknowledges college juniors who plan to pursue careers in government, education or other public service areas.
Campbell said his motivation behind applying for the scholarship is not only wanting to better himself, but to better the country.
“I want to work within the system to make the system better and to make the necessary changes that we all keep complaining about, yet no one has stepped up and done,” he said.
Campbell said he came across the scholarship on Google when he was a freshman searching for graduate school scholarships.
“The Truman Scholarship is one of those more national scholarships that I wanted to pursue for my education and for furthering my own education within the world,” he said.
Campbell attributes his position as a scholarship finalist to his hard work and internal ambitions. However, he said he must also credit his mentors and professors in the political science, economics and communication departments.
“Those individuals really pushed me to think outside of my own conceptions of the world,” he said.
Campbell also said the speech team has had a big impact his college career.
“The speech team has kept me in check throughout my three years, not only supporting me, but also knocking me down,” he said. “I needed them to.”
Another major factor Campbell said has affected him is the internship he had last summer with former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich in Washington, D.C. He said his advice for anyone wanting a taste of the real world is to intern.
“Look at where you want to be [and] intern for something that is in your field, because you need to make sure your perceptions meet the reality of these jobs,” he said.
Campbell said if he gets the scholarship his first choice graduate school is Georgetown University, followed by Princeton University and Yale University.
He said he plans on applying to Juris Doctor and Master in Public Policy programs with law and public policy as his area of study.
Campbell said whether or not he was chosen as a finalist for this scholarship, he would have continued to pursue these goals.
“It’s more of the fact that this is just a supplement to my career track rather than a mode to my career,” he said.
Campbell said he is honored with the opportunity presented to him.
“I want it not only for myself, but for Bradley University, because I’m a product of this university,” he said.