OVER THE PAST four decades, fourteen Tufts students have been named Truman Scholars, putting the university among the best-performing institutions nationwide for the competitive award. When Tufts’ Anne Hall, A19, was named one of fifty-nine winners in 2018, she was selected from a pool of 756 nominees. And on three occasions, two Tufts students have each received the award in the same year, a particularly rare accomplishment. “Tufts University has a remarkable history of success in winning the Truman Scholarship,” said Rachael Johnson, spokesperson for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Portrait of Anne Hall

Truman Scholarships are awarded each year to “young people with a commitment to public service who have demonstrated outstanding public service leadership and academic excellence,”Johnson said. Applicants analyze a societal problem—such as prenatal care for economically disadvantaged women— and offer a proposed solution. Award winners receive up to $30,000 for graduate study, as well as priority admission at some premier graduate institutions, special internship opportunities in the federal government, and more.

The success of Tufts students is partly due to the university’s emphasis on civic engagement, said Anne Moore, program specialist in Tufts’ Office of Scholar Development. “This means two things,” Moore said. “The students who apply to Tufts already have a strong interest in service for the public good, and, once they get here, there are lots of opportunities for them to gain concrete leadership and service experiences, which is a strong prerequisite for success in the Truman.”

After graduation this spring, Anne Hall (pictured) plans to attend medical school and divinity school. Born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she is a first-generation Lao-American who double-majored in biology and interdisciplinary studies, concentrating in culture, spirituality, and female adolescent health. “As an aspiring ob-gyn and women’s health advocate, I want to promote health and well-being among women who face numerous life challenges, particularly domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence,” she said after winning the award. She would like to pursue two degrees “to provide both physical healing and spiritual care for individuals and families.” Hall’s ultimate goal is to eventually start an independent clinic in rural South Dakota, she said. “Through this clinic, I hope to dedicate the rest of my life to providing both health and pastoral care to rural women who face numerous challenges in life.”

Monica Jimenez

Monica Jimenez, editor of One Tufts and Tufts Magazine's Connect section and writer at Tufts, can be reached at monica.jimenez@tufts.edu.