As student quality continues to rise at SMU, increasing numbers of young scholars are winning prestigious national fellowships. In 2008–09, SMU’s fellowship winners included two Fulbright scholars, a Truman scholar, two Rotary Ambassadorial scholars and a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate scholar.

Those successes are due in no small part to the Office of National Fellowships and Awards, which SMU established in 2007 to help students and faculty prepare their candidacies for national awards. Since then, student applications have tripled and successful applications have quintupled.

“These winners, many of whom benefited from scholarship support at SMU, are among the nation’s best and brightest,” says Kathleen Hugley-Cook, director of the office.

Here is a look at three recent winners:

Warren Seay, Jr. ’10 
Truman Scholar

Seay is one of only 60 students nationwide awarded the 2009 Truman Scholarship, which recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government or public service. It provides up to $30,000 for graduate study.

“This Truman Scholarship is a testament to the guidance I’ve received from my professors and mentors at SMU,” says Seay, a Hunt Leadership Scholar majoring in political science in Dedman College. Seay also won election to the DeSoto, Texas, school board this year.

Esmeralda Duran ’08 
Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar

After graduating from Dedman College in December with degrees in English and French, Duran was selected for one of the nation’s most competitive scholarship programs to continue her studies at Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship provides $50,000 for graduate study.

At SMU, Duran also held a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship and an SMU scholarship for community college transfer students. The daughter of immigrants from Mexico, Duran says she still remembers her hunger to learn English as a child.

“It is the same hunger for knowledge that I feel at the beginning of every semester,” she says.

Amy Revier ’09 
Fulbright Scholar

Amy Revier, who graduated from Meadows School of the Arts in May with a degree in art, is one of four SMU students who have received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship in the past two years. Revier is spending the year in Iceland, studying and working in the studio of internationally recognized sculptor and textile artist Hildur Bjarnadóttir in Reykjavik.

“I was fortunate to meet Hildur when she was a visiting artist at SMU,” says Revier, a Hunt Leadership Scholar whose work has been exhibited in galleries throughout Texas. “I spent a week with her on campus, installing her work and discussing Iceland’s culture and history of textiles.”

To learn about supporting SMU scholarship programs, please contact Linda Preece at 214-768-4745 or