Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2002-03-22

Samford University junior James T. Gibson of Butler has been named a Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. He is one of 64 Truman scholars selected nationwide from some 600 applications.

Gibson, a history and political science double major, will receive a $30,000 scholarship for his last year of undergraduate school and two years of graduate work. He is the only student from Alabama to be named a 2002 Truman Scholar.

Truman Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and the likelihood of making a difference. They must be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector. The foundation typically selects one scholar from each state and several at-large scholars from each region.

Gibson, a Dean's List student, is the son of Donald R. and Mary Ruth Gibson of Butler.

At Samford, he is a member of the student government senate, Amnesty International, Alabama Citizens for Constitutional Reform and several honor societies. He is a former staff writer for the Samford Crimson newspaper, founder and president of Samford College Democrats, vice president of the Pre-Law Society and captain of the Samford mock trial team.

The Truman Scholars program is the federal memorial to the nation's 33rd president.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.