Press Releases

May 1, 1998
Friends World Student Wins Truman Scholarship for Graduate Study

Jane Finalborgo
Joe Dionisio
(516) 287 8313
Fax: (516) 283 4081

Nathan Patmor, a Friends World student studying community development in a remote village in India, is one of 65 students from 56 colleges and universities across the United States to win a 1998 Truman Scholarship.

Patmor, a senior in the Friends World Program which is based at Long Island University's Southampton College, was selected for the prestigious scholarship from 676 candidates nominated by 353 colleges and universities. The scholarship provides $30,000 for the senior year and two or three years of graduate study. The award is based on leadership potential, intellectual ability, commitment to public service, and likelihood of "making a difference."

"Nathan comes across as a passionate and committed young man with a remarkable amount of initiative and creativity," said Bob Danziger, Truman faculty representative at Southampton College. Dr. Danziger has never met Patmor but has spoken and corresponded with him and read his journals.

Patmor, whose hometown is Sturgis, Kentucky, has had an unusual and non-traditional college education highlighted by a deep commitment to community service. He transferred to Long Island University's Friends World Program from Armand Hammer United World College where he formed a group of students to raise money for medical supplies and books for the Tarahumara indigenous people of northern New Mexico. He spent his first year in the Friends World Program in Costa Rica and Guatemala working with grassroots development organizations to bring medical and educational supplies to Indians living in abject poverty.

For his senior year, he travelled to the Friends World Center in Bangalore, India and he is now completing his senior thesis in a remote village of Uttar Pradesh.

"My conviction is growing stronger: a development project organizer must have firsthand experience in living and working with poor communities. This cannot be learned in a comfortable classroom. Thus, I am with Friends World, and thus I am here," Patmor wrote in one of his journals.

The Friends World Program offers an experiential program of global education for social change through its seven overseas centers. Students typically spend three of their four years living and studying in different cultures.

"I was a little worried that being an alternative student would be a disadvantage," said Patmor, about his Truman application. "It forced them [the selection panel] to evaluate me for who I am and not for pre-set standards that I have supposedly lived up to. I am happy that they looked past not having grades or traditional courses. They saw that alternative students can be and sometimes are more qualified than those in traditional education."

Patmor is expected to return to the United States in mid-May to participate in the May 17th Commencement ceremonies at Southampton College and to attend a leadership development program and accept his Truman Scholarship award in a special ceremony May 31 at the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to our thirty-third President. There have been 1,852 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.

Patmor is the son of Phillis and George Patmor of Sturgis, Kentucky.

Editors Note: Photos of Nathan Patmor are available by calling the Public Relations Office at Southampton College, 516-287-8313.