Arts & Sciences McKelvey School of Engineering

Juniors Eisner, Klapow awarded prestigious Truman Scholarship

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin (lower image) surprises Truman Scholars  Max Klapow (left) and Zach Eisner. (Video: Tom Malkowicz/Washington University)

Roommates and best friends Zach Eisner and Max Klapow, juniors at Washington University in St. Louis, have both won a Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate fellowship in the United States for those pursuing careers as public service leaders. Both Eisner and Klapow will receive $30,000 for graduate study. 

Eisner and Klapow are two of 62 scholars selected from a competitive field of 773 applicants. For one institution to boast two winners is rare. For those two winners to be best friends is remarkable.

“We knew the odds of two best friends winning are just so slim. Honestly, we’re still in shock,” Eisner said. 

Eisner, a biomedical engineering major in the McKelvey School of Engineering, and Klapow, a philosophy-neuroscience-psychology major in Arts & Sciences, were surprised with the news April 13. The students logged on to Zoom expecting an update on their applications from Grizelda McClelland, assistant dean in Arts & Sciences.

Instead, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin popped onto their screens.

“I’m just going around Zoombombing people to see what’s going on,” Martin joked. “No, actually I had a purpose in reaching out to the two of you. I’ve got some really good news from the Truman Foundation.” 

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