Special Recognitions

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation

712 Jackson Place, N. W. Washington, D.C. 20006
202-395-4831    Fax: 202-395-6995

February 5, 2004

Ms. Cassandra Berry
Associate V.P. for Equity and Diversity
University of North Texas
P.O. Box 310937
Denton, TX 76203-0937

Dear Ms. Berry:

On behalf of Foundation President Madeleine K. Albright and the Board of Trustees, I congratulate the University of North Texas in celebrating the 50th anniversary of desegregation at its Denton campus, and in honoring the many UNT alumni who have been pathfinders in the quest for social equality and human decency. Your event reminds me of President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order 9981, on July 26, 1948, to desegregate U.S. military forces. Stellar benefits accrued to our country from his bold and brave initiative, itself a glowing model of institutional reform.

The milestone of reform that UNT now celebrates includes the glowing achievement of Ms. Constance Lacy, the first UNT African-American undergraduate to win a major national scholarship, and the first-ever UNT student to win a Harry S. Truman Scholarship. We were delighted to see Constance compete successfully for a Truman Scholarship in 1998, and we have followed with pride and delight her wonderful accomplishments since then.

Winning a Truman Scholarship requires far more than academic excellence. Applicants must have extensive and impressive leadership credentials and possess a public-service fervor that will lead them to shape domestic or international policy in their areas of social engagement and commitment. Moreover, Truman Scholars must be extraordinary people whose personalities are in every way genuine, amiable, and ambassadorial.

Constance Lacy is all of that -- and more. She is a treasured part of our Truman family of change agents. We commend the stellar UNT programs and mentorship that fostered her undergraduate development. All of us at the Foundation applaud her barrier-breaking initiative. We heartily join the UNT community in celebrating fifty years of progress, accomplishment, and distinction.

Sincerely yours,

Louis H. Blair
Executive Secretary

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