Loyal Terry ’19 awarded Truman Scholarship


Printed with Permission of Loyal Terry

Loyal Terry ’19 was one of 58 students across the country to be awarded the Truman Scholarship on April 14.

Davis Marks

Alumnus Loyal Terry ’19 was one of 58 students nationally to receive the Truman Scholarship on April 14. The Truman Scholarship, which was established by Congress in 1975, awards merit-based graduate school scholarships to college students in their junior year who plan to pursue careers in government or the nonprofit sector.

Terry said he was emotional as he received the news that he won the Scholarship because it gives him the opportunity to attend graduate school and further his career.

“I received the call from the President of Grinnell College and my Truman advisor, [and] after hearing the news, I was overcome with emotions and teared up a little bit,” Terry said. “This was an application I had worked on for over a year and this scholarship is as close to a golden ticket as you can have for graduate school.”

Terry, who served as a Senior Prefect, captain of the football team and BLACC leader while at the school, currently attends Grinnell College in Iowa. Since graduating from the school, Terry has become active in politics and social activism. Terry interned for Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian during the summer and is currently a Legislative Intern for United States Representative Adam Schiff.

Associate Head of School Laura Ross said she feels Terry positively impacted her life during his time at the school and looks forward to seeing his future success.

“When Loyal wrote to let me know [the news], I was honored and flattered that he listed me among the people who had positively impacted his life at Harvard-Westlake,” Ross said. “I would say the same in return – I learned so much from Loyal in terms of the way he approaches life with a compelling combination of openness to people, ideas, new situations and a steadfast commitment to the activities, people and organizations he gave his time to. It was impossible not to know Loyal because of his interest in other people and his huge smile and warm heart. I can’t wait to see where his journey takes him.”

Printed with Permission of Loyal Terry

Terry is one of 58 new Truman Scholars chosen from 705 candidates nominated by 275 different colleges and universities. Truman Scholars must demonstrate leadership potential, a commitment to public service and academic excellence. After being selected, each Truman Scholar receives a scholarship of up to $30,000 for graduate school, leadership training, career counseling and internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.

Head of Athletics Terry Barnum said he is thrilled about Terry winning the Scholarship and is grateful for the various ways he impacted the community while attending the school.

“I am so proud of Loyal,” Barnum said. “When he came to Harvard-Westlake as a freshman, there was clearly something special about him. His infectious personality and strong determination made him a success at HW and has clearly continued to serve him well in life. We are a better school because Loyal Terry was one of our students.”

Terry said that he feels winning the Scholarship is meaningful as he has been able to find success and inspire others despite various barriers he has faced.

“Being a Black man in higher education is extremely difficult because there are not many of us,” Terry said. “I went through high school and college having dealt with learning disabilities and PTSD and I have spent a lot of time finding ways to reach my full potential and let my vision be known despite these barriers. Most importantly, this scholarship is in honor of my late father and younger sisters, [as] I want to show them that the world can be theirs despite our rough childhood.”