UNK-Clayton Thyne, a junior at the University of Nebraska at Kearney from Julesburg, Colo., has been awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship. Only 75-80 students are chosen nationwide for this honor annually.
Thyne will receive $3,000 for his last year of undergraduate study and $27,000 to pursue a master’s degree. He will also be invited to participate in the Truman Scholars Leadership Week and to receive enhanced access to highly competitive graduate programs.
“Clayton Thyne is a superb example of UNK’s best students. Not only does he excel academically, but he also exhibits great concern for the future of our global society,” said UNK Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston.
The mission of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship is to recognize college juniors with leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the non-profit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in service to the public.
Truman Scholars must have extensive records of community and public service, must be committed to careers in public service and must have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills.
Thyne is a political science major, currently serving an internship for U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey in Washington, D.C. Thyne is vice president of the Locke and Key Society, a service-oriented organization for political science majors. He is a member of the UNK Student Government’s Liaison Team, an agency that provides a point of contact between the student body and the Kearney community, and he was involved in establishing a campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
About 700 students are nominated annually for this scholarship and 200-300 students are chosen as finalists. A faculty representative at a nationally accredited college or university must nominate applicants. Thyne was nominated by UNK’s Truman Scholarship faculty representative, Ken Nikels, and was the first student to be nominated for the scholarship from UNK.
“In many ways I believe Clayton represents what is best about our students Ð he is a bright, dedicated, caring individual who characterizes in an exemplary fashion the qualities we find in students from this region of the country,” Nikels said.
The application process is highly competitive and time consuming. Applicants can spend as much or more time preparing application materials as they would spend in a three-credit class. Most of their time is spent planning, writing and editing narrative responses; practicing for the interview; studying current events; and reading about the life and presidency of Mr. Truman.
Thyne will officially receive his award at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Mo., on May 27.