Former DSU Football Player Matthew Perdue Named Truman Scholar

Former DSU Football Player Matthew Perdue Named Truman Scholar

DSU Student is University's First Truman Scholar

Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 02:02 PM

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, President of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced today the names of 58 exceptional college students from 50 U.S. colleges and universities who have been selected as 2015 Truman Scholars.

The 58 new Truman Scholars were selected from among 688 candidates nominated by 297 colleges and universities. They were chosen by sixteen independent selection panels on the basis of the finalists’ academic success and leadership accomplishments, as well as their likelihood of becoming public service leaders.

Selection panels met across the United States and included distinguished public service leaders, elected officials, university presidents, federal judges, and past Truman Scholarship winners. A listing of the new Scholars can be found at the Truman Foundation’s website:

Matthew Perdue, a junior at Dickinson State University, is making history as Dickinson State University’s first Truman scholar. His focus is on the future of North Dakota. 

“It’s a true honor to be awarded a Truman Scholarship,” said Perdue. “My goal after graduation from Dickinson State is to go to law school to study energy and the environment. I plan to return to North Dakota after graduate school to work with land owners and farmers as they address the issues they encounter on a daily basis.”

Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be academically excellent, and be committed to careers in government or the non-profit sector.

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to our thirty-third President. The Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. The activities of the Foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the US Treasury.

There have been 3,023 Truman Scholars selected since the first awards were made in 1977. The 2015 Truman Scholars will assemble May 19th for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, and they will receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 24, 2015.

“Being a Truman Fellow will allow Matt the opportunity to hone his already outstanding capabilities and prepare him to make great differences for the people of this region for many generations,” said D.C. Coston, president of Dickinson State University. 

Perdue was nominated by Dickinson State University.  The application package was submitted in February and included: the nomination, three letters of recommendation, several essays, and a policy proposal. Perdue wrote about his leadership experience and philosophy on public service and created a policy focused on pipeline monitoring in western North Dakota. He was then invited to an interview session in Minneapolis with other finalists from North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Perdue is the only scholar chosen from North Dakota in 2015. 

Perdue is completing a double major in political science and secondary education in composite social science with a leadership minor as part of the Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program. He has served as a student assistant director for TRHLP, president of the DSU League of Political Scientists, and member of the Student Senate. He also played football for the Blue Hawks. 

“Matt has been such an outstanding member of the Theodore Roosevelt Honors and Leadership Program, said Dr. Debora Dragseth, program director. “He has not only been a leader among leaders, but he has been a mentor to younger students in the program. We are all extremely proud of what he has accomplished thus far and excited for what he will accomplish in the future.” 

A fifth generation farmer from Ray, North Dakota, Perdue became involved in politics as a student at DSU but said it is his experience as a member of the North Dakota Farmer’s Union, an advocacy for family farmers, that inspired his political interest. 

Perdue credits his passion and drive to values he learned from his family. “Hard work, perseverance, and persistence have been guiding values of my life,” said Perdue. “These values, coupled with the educational opportunities at DSU have brought me from a small town of 500 to a recipient of the Truman Scholarship.”