February 17, 2018  

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Southern Miss Student Hersey Named Truman Scholarship Finalist

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University of Southern Mississippi junior Brandon Hersey is vying for one of the prestigious Truman Scholarships, named for former U.S. President Harry S. Truman. (University Communications photo by Van Arnold)

Hattiesburg native and University of Southern Mississippi junior Brandon Hersey has been named a finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship.

Hersey, a political science/communications studies major, is the lone Southern Miss student selected and one of only four students from the state of Mississippi chosen as Truman finalists.

“This has been something I had been looking forward to for about a year,” said Hersey. “When completing my application, I saw a story forming of my life and how the things I had been a part of were shaping and guiding me to the places I wanted to go. This process, in a way, highlighted my past and illuminated my future.”

The Truman Scholarship Foundation received 629 applications from 293 colleges and universities this year and whittled the field to 199 candidates from 136 institutions of higher learning as finalists. Hersey is scheduled to interview before the Foundation’s Regional Review Panel on March 27. Scholarships winners will be announced in early April.

Named in honor of the late U.S. President Harry S. Truman, the Truman Scholarship is awarded to high-achieving college juniors who show commitment to public service and potential to continue that service beyond graduation. The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study in public service fields and leadership training.

Hersey is co-founder and vice president of the Southern Miss Debate Society. He also serves as vice president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He is the son of Roosevelt and the late Von Hersey. Hersey has his sights set on pursuing advanced degrees after completing his undergraduate work at Southern Miss.

“I plan on attending Georgetown University or perhaps the University of Georgia at Athens and working on my graduate degree in higher education,” said Hersey. “As far as long-term goals, I would love to earn my doctorate in educational leadership.”

Dr. Eddie Holloway, dean of students at Southern Miss, was not surprised to learn that Hersey had been chosen as a Truman finalist. Hersey has served as a student worker in Holloway’s office since his freshman year.

“I have known Brandon for most of his life – as a kid he was always eager and energetic.  As a student, he has always excelled in his academics – early years and throughout high school,” said Holloway. “Brandon sets his goals high and he gives it his all to reach and even surpass his original aim. I have never seen a student that is so eager to be the best, exceed all standards and dream beyond his years.”

Students interested in applying for the Truman or other nationally competitive scholarships should contact Southern Miss National Scholarship Officer Robyn Curtis at 601.266.4263 or robyn.curtis@usm.edu