Released March 25, 1999
Centre College student receives Truman Scholarship
DANVILLE, KY -- Edmund Sauer, a Centre College student whose interest in politics dates back to his kindergarten days growing up in Frankfort, has been chosen for a Harry S. Truman Scholarship aimed at future leaders in public service. He will receive up to $30,000 in scholarship funds to be applied toward his final year at Centre and two years of graduate school.
Sauer is one of 75 students in the nation chosen for the award. The Truman Scholarships are sponsored by Congress as a memorial to honor the 33rd president of the United States. The awards program seeks nominees who have potential for leadership in public service and who have a desire to improve the ways in which government agencies or the non-profit sector serve the public.
Sauer, who now lives in Bardstown, grew up in Frankfort and says he began regularly visiting the state capitol by the time he was six years old. "We lived about a block and a half from the capitol," he says, "so whenever I had some free time, it seemed natural to run down there and hang out." Sauer admits that he liked visiting the capitol more than watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Encouraged by his mother, who often took him to political rallies, Sauer began working on political campaigns as a youngster. He has been active in all but one Democratic gubernatorial campaign from Martha Layne Collins to Paul Patton.
Sauer now serves as president of the College Democrats at Centre. His commitment to service has spilled into other areas, too, and he is president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Sauer finds time to play varsity tennis, and he has made the dean's list.
Sauer is completing a double major in government and economics, with plans to attend law school. One of his dreams, he says, is to work in Washington for the Federal Elections Commission. "The election process gets to the heart of what our country is about," he says, "and helping guarantee the fairness of elections is something that deeply interests me."
When the Truman Scholarship committee informed Sauer that he would have to write a short paper on some important current issue, he seized the opportunity to focus on elections. His paper opened with the observation: "America has a critical interest in maintaining the integrity of its electoral process," and he went on to outline the many factors now threatening the election process: special interest groups, "soft money" contributions and political bias within the FEC.
Sauer outlined possible solutions, including a reform of the FEC and tighter controls on soft money. He concluded with the bold assertion: "If our representative democracy is to succeed, the United States government must enact serious campaign finance reform...[to have] an electoral system that would once again work for the people, rather than special interests, and would limit the corruptive influence money has on the process of developing public policy."
Sauer is a graduate of Bardstown High School. His parents are Lyda Sauer of Bardstown and Theodore Sauer of Louisville.
Centre has had three Truman Scholars since the program began in 1977: Robin Little in 1978 and Gretta Feldkamp in 1988.
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