UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — University of Richmond Junior William Walker, Jr. of Winnfield, Louisiana, was selected as a finalist for a Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

The scholarship is the nation’s premier graduate fellowship for students pursuing careers as public service leaders.

“To be a finalist for a Truman is such an honor,” said Kim Lewis, associate director of scholars and fellows. “We are so proud of Will and all he has accomplished.”

Walker is majoring in leadership studies and minoring in English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

After graduation he plans to earn a master’s degree in higher education that will foster his passion for addressing issues of equity and inclusion in higher education.

“As American colleges diversify their student populations, I want to dedicate my career to addressing why students of color feel as if they don’t belong socially and academically on their college campuses,” said Walker. “I want to ultimately take on a leadership position in higher education where I can help create new structures, policies, and programs that address diversity and inclusion on a large scale.”

Currently, Walker advocates for national higher education policy reform as a member of the Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America Policy Corps. As a Bonner Scholar at the University of Richmond, he works with a local non-profit consulting firm IT4Causes and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Additionally he was recently named a University Innovation Fellow by the Stanford University Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

“Will has proven time again to be a determined leader who is not afraid to tackle difficult issues,” said University of Richmond President Ronald A. Crutcher. “I have a deep appreciation for his passion and drive, and I have no doubt that he will succeed in his future endeavors.”

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