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Matt Scogin Named Finalist for
National Truman Scholarship

Posted February 19, 2001

HOLLAND -- Matt Scogin, a Hope College junior from Portage, has been named a finalist for the national Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

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 freshman orientation.

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 Portage.

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.

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