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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
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Howard University Junior Named Truman Scholar

Photo by Justin D. Knight
Hamilton Cunningham, a junior economics major, is Howard University recipient
of the 2009 Truman Scholarship.

WASHINGTON (March 31, 2009) - Hamilton Cunningham was recently named a 2009 Truman Scholar. Cunningham is Howard University’s sixth Truman Scholar since 1989.

He is one of only 60 students from 55 colleges and universities across the nation selected for this honor. More than 600 candidates were nominated for the award by 289 colleges and universities. The prestigious Truman Scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study. It is awarded annually to students who have excelled academically and are committed to careers in public service.

Cunningham, an economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS), plans to pursue a Masters of Arts in Art Policy and Administration. The Atlanta native is a high achieving student with diverse extra-curricular interests. Last year, he was a trumpet instructor at a local arts organization. The music enthusiast’s career goals include working to expand access to arts education, increasing jazz awareness and appreciation, and generally increasing cultural literacy among Americans.

"While recently serving as a trumpet instructor, I realized that although the experience was rewarding, I could have a much bigger impact on jazz education by pursuing senior administrative positions," Cunningham said. "Being named as a 2009 Truman Scholar will be a sterling stage on which to begin my quest to keep jazz music alive in the minds of Americans."

Cunningham received an Associate of Science degree in music from Georgia Perimeter College before transferring to Howard University in summer 2007. He is an example of the University’s focus on increasing its population of high achieving transfer students. He earned a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, which is awarded to outstanding students transferring from community colleges.

Regarding the announcement of the Truman award, Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau congratulated Cunningham on his high national achievement and thanked his faculty mentors and the COAS Honors Council for their support of his Truman application and general academic and personal development.

About the Truman Scholarship

The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the nation’s 33rd 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. Since 1977, when the award was established, the Foundation has selected 2670 Truman Scholars.

Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, 19 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African- American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information about Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at



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