Rutgers University–Camden is proud to announce that Paul Boyd, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in philosophy, has been named a 2024 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Boyd is among 60 new Truman scholars selected from 709 candidates nominated by 285 colleges and universities nationwide.

“Throughout his time as a Rutgers–Camden student, Paul has been a living example of intellectual curiosity, scholarly dedication, and perseverance,” said Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “He now has a well-deserved place in the Rutgers–Camden history books, achieving this distinction through his hard work and academic excellence. I cannot wait to see how Paul will make the most of this opportunity as he builds a career in public service.”

Boyd is the first-ever student from Rutgers–Camden to be named a Truman Scholar and only the 16th student from Rutgers University since the scholarship program was created in 1975.

I am so pleased to congratulate Paul on becoming Rutgers–Camden's first Truman Scholar,” said Marsha Lowery, vice chancellor for student academic success. “Applying for such a competitive and prestigious award is time-consuming and nerve-wracking, but Paul recognized the strength of his candidacy and completed the process. I wish Paul the best in his time as a Truman Scholar, and I encourage other Rutgers–Camden students to follow his example.

This prestigious award recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, a commitment to a government or nonprofit sector career, and academic excellence. Each Truman Scholar receives funding for graduate studies, leadership training, career counseling, and special internship and fellowship opportunities within the federal government.   

“To say I am gobsmacked would be an understatement,” said Boyd. “I extend heartfelt appreciation to all who contributed to this extraordinary accomplishment. Reflecting on a cherished quote from the late Holloway Rozier, 'My limitations are my invitation to greatness.' This investment in my future is an immense honor, and I am enthusiastic about paying it forward.”

Boyd, a native of Atlantic County and a proud father of three, had dreams of going to college from a young age, but his life took an unexpected turn that led to incarceration. Determined to rise above his circumstances, Boyd served as a teacher's aide while in prison, helping fellow inmates obtain their high school diplomas and GEDs.

His positive experience as a teacher’s aide led him to apply for NJ-STEP, a partnership of several higher education institutions in New Jersey, the State of New Jersey Department of Corrections, and the New Jersey State Parole Board that offers college-level courses to incarcerated individuals.

Boyd enrolled at Rutgers–Camden in 2023 after earning an associate's degree through NJ-STEP. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy and hopes to eventually work for a program that supports incarcerated individuals interested in pursuing higher education and preparing for life after prison.