Hamline News

Conner Suddick Named Prestigious Truman Scholar

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A stand-out Hamline University student is now amongst the winners of one of the most prestigious scholarships in America. Conner Suddick, a junior double-major in legal studies and social justice is one of 59 students to be named a Truman Scholar. The awards are given annually to extraordinary undergraduates who are committed to a career in public service.

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 to be the nation’s living memorial to President Harry S. Truman. The Foundation has a mission to select and support the next generation of public service leaders.

“The civil justice system as it exists today is not a tool, but a barrier for many marginalized communities,” said Suddick. "I'm humbled by the recognition from the Truman Foundation to support my graduate education. With a Juris Doctor and Master of Public Policy, I will engage in direct services and policymaking to improve our legal system so there can be justice for all."

Suddick, 20, will be awarded up to $30,000 for graduate study and will be eligible for priority admission to the nation’s top graduate institutions. Suddick was also selected as Hamline’s 2017 recipient of the Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow award for his commitment to social justice and community involvement. He is an active community volunteer including at Hamline’s Center for Justice and Law promoting programming for students to discuss issues of social policy, law and justice. Suddick is also involved with programming for Hamline Sexualities & Gender Diversity Initiatives. He is expected to graduate with the Hamline University class of 2019.

“This is a transformational opportunity for Conner who has already proven himself to be an exceptional leader at Hamline University,” said Fayneese Miller, president of Hamline University. “Social justice-oriented scholars like Conner are the change-makers who can improve our communities immeasurably. We know he will make impactful contributions in his public service career.”

Annually, candidates for the Truman Scholarship go through a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. This year, there were 756 candidates for the award nominated by 311 colleges and universities, a record number of institutions.

Before Suddick’s scholarship win, the most recent Hamline University Truman Scholar was Shawn Vogt Sween, who was selected in 1999. Vogt Sween owns a law practice in southeastern Minnesota focused on agriculture. Suddick reached out to Vogt Sween to get advice throughout the rigorous Truman Scholar application and interview process.

"I appreciate the dedicated alumni network here at Hamline" said Suddick. "She reviewed my application, helped me prepare for the interview, and suggested readings so that I would be well informed for the interview."

“Hamline prepared me for law school, but the Truman scholarship opened the door to Harvard University,” said Vogt Sween. “Conner and the rest of the 2018 Truman Scholars are going to do amazing things for our country.”

Suddick and the rest of the 2018 class of Truman Scholars will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri on Sunday, May 27, 2018.