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Robert Lauf, and NDSU political science and economics major receives Truman Scholarship

NDSU junior Robbie Lauf has received the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. He is the first NDSU student to receive the honor since 1986.

Lauf, who served as NDSU student body president during the 2013-2014 school year, is one of only 59 Truman Scholars chosen for their academic success, leadership and potential for a future in public service.

“It’s definitely been something on my wish list of life experiences to receive the Truman Scholarship,” said Lauf, a political science and economics major who will receive up to $30,000 for graduate studies. “It was an exciting experience to go through the process, whether I got it or not. I was very pleasantly surprised that it happened as it did.”

Lauf was selected from among 655 candidates nominated by 293 colleges and universities. Truman Scholars were selected by 17 independent selection panels that included elected officials, university presidents, federal judges and past Truman Scholarship winners.

In a letter of support, NDSU president Dean L. Bresciani called Lauf “a participant leader who serves as a change agent through his various roles, responsibilities and leadership activities.

“His intellectual curiosity, motivation, charisma and natural proclivity toward successful roles will be well suited to substantial tasks and challenges,” Bresciani wrote. “He approaches such opportunities enthusiastically, and as a result consistently leaves things in a better position than when he found them.”

Lauf was an NDSU student lobbyist to the North Dakota legislature for the 2012-13 academic year. He worked with state legislators and the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education on various issues related to higher education.

Lauf, who is from Mayville, N.D., began to think about a career as a public servant as a high school senior when he was selected for the United States Senate Youth Program. Through the program, he visited Washington, D.C., and met with a justice of the Supreme Court and President Barack Obama.

“I see public service as a way to further the relationship between our state government, local government and the people it serves,” Lauf said.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was started in 1975. The foundation awards scholarships to students who attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or other public service venues.

The 2014 Truman Scholars are scheduled to assemble on May 22 for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo. The scholarship recipients will receive their awards in a ceremony on May 25 at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Mo.

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