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For one merit-based undergraduate scholarship program at Washington University in St. Louis (the University), discovery and dialogue have been essential to the program’s…
For one merit-based undergraduate scholarship program at Washington University in St. Louis (the University), discovery and dialogue have been essential to the program’s nearly 30-year existence. Named for Dr. John B. Ervin, the first African American Dean at Washington University in St. Louis, the John B. Ervin Scholars Program has attracted, recruited, retained, and graduated over 600 students deemed to exemplify extraordinary commitments to four pillars – scholarship, leadership, service, and diversity. Because the Program’s administrators have cultivated a community grounded in discovery and dialogue, the Ervin Scholars’ resolve to foster a more just and equitable society has deepened over time, perhaps preparing them for this time in which universities, this nation, and our world face crises over race. This resolve has manifested the last few years as Ervin Scholars have responded quickly to racial issues at Washington University in St. Louis and throughout the nation.
With its 30-year foundation, the John B. Ervin Scholars Program continues to develop, nurture, and support young people who advance discovery and dialogue. Drawing on a number of interviews, Program and University publications, and external publications, “A Legacy of Commitment,” the second installment of the Program’s history, demonstrates how the presence, contributions, and achievements of Ervin Scholars have changed Washington University in St. Louis. The Ervin Program has been an important part of the University’s efforts to be more diverse and inclusive, and it will continue to be integral to the University’s current and future plans.
Public administration as an aspect of governmental activity has existed as long as political systems have been functioning and trying to achieve program objectives set by the political decision-makers. Public administration as a field of systematic study is much more recent. Advisers to rulers and commentators on the workings of government have recorded their observations from time to time in sources as varied as Kautilya's Arthasastra in ancient India, the Bible, Aristotle's Politics, and Machiavelli's The Prince, but it was not until the eighteenth century that cameralism, concerned with the systematic management of governmental affairs, became a specialty of German scholars in Western Europe. In the United States, such a development did not take place until the latter part of the nineteenth century, with the publication in 1887 of Woodrow Wilson's famous essay, “The Study of Administration,” generally considered the starting point. Since that time, public administration has become a well-recognized area of specialized interest, either as a subfield of political science or as an academic discipline in its own right.