WOOSTER, Ohio – Jordan Griffith, a junior at The College of Wooster, has been selected as a finalist for a 2018 Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States, it was announced by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.
Griffith, a native of Columbus, Ohio, is one of six finalists from across the state. There are 194 finalists in all who were selected based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement, and Griffith will be interviewed by one of the Foundation’s selection panels on Wednesday, April 4, in Washington, D.C. The winners (62 were named last year), which are awarded up to $30,000 for postgraduate study, will be announced April 20.
A double major in political theory and history with a 3.95 GPA, Griffith has constructed an exemplary record of leadership at Wooster. He serves as the chair of campus council, co-president of the College Democrats, a resident assistant, a tour guide for the office of admissions, and as secretary of the moot court team. In the latter, Griffith has earned multiple All-American honors, recently advancing all the way to the semifinals in the oral advocacy competition at the American Moot Court Association National Championship Tournament with partner Cameron Steckbeck.
“This is really a culmination of what I’ve done here. It’s pretty monumental, but it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Griffith of being named a Truman Scholar finalist.
Outside of Wooster, Griffith was an intern for Michael Stinziano, a member of the Columbus City Council, one summer, and he helped organize and run 2017 Propel Ohio, an annual leadership conference that promotes civic engagement for undergraduate students, as part of an internship with Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Griffith believes his goals and passions directly align with President Truman’s administration, specifically an interest in housing policy. As part of the application for the scholarship, Griffith penned a 500-word essay in regards to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development instituting a policy that cities would have a mandate to include a government subsidy of 10% affordable housing in certain areas.
“Our housing policy in America is pretty free market, but it leads to segregation at the end of the day. Your zip code determines your health, educational attainment, safety, job opportunities, and life expectancy,” argued Griffith. “This could really have a transformative effect, if adopted, even on a localized scale … which I think Truman himself would get on board with. Some people would call it radical, but I think that’s exactly what we need.”
Griffith is hoping to join Gina Bombaci ‘95 and Jessica Schumacher ‘11 as Wooster students who have won Truman Scholars.
Griffith also noted that he really “got a lot out of the application process” and wanted to thank Angie Bos and Bas Van Doorn, associate professors of political science, as well as Wooster president Sarah Bolton and emeriti faculty member Mark Weaver for their recommendations and support.