The President Dwight Eisenhower Scholarship was established at IWP in 2020 by IWP Trustee and alumnus Michael C. Maibach.
This $10,000 per year scholarship is the first scholarship that was established as a part of IWP’s Great Statesman Scholarships program.
About President Dwight D. Eisenhower
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was an exceptional leader, soldier, and statesman. As a five-star Army general and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in the European theater of WWII, he led allied troops to victory. As the supreme commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the 34th president of the United States, his commitment to cultural diplomacy, international coalition building, and devoted service enabled him to successfully lead his country through a tumultuous war of ideas at the start of the Cold War.
Dwight David Eisenhower’s life story is one of leadership, service, and profound success. From an early age, Eisenhower learned the value of a disciplined work ethic, as well as the meaning inherent in providing for others. His commitment to both of these qualities solidified his legacy as one of history’s most honorable men.
During World War I, Eisenhower’s success in commanding a tank training center earned him the rank of captain and the Distinguished Service Medal. Captain Eisenhower was subsequently assigned to the Panama Canal Zone, after which he was selected to attend the army’s Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he graduated first in a class of 275.
In December 1941, the United States entered World War II. General George C. Marshall appointed Eisenhower to the army’s war plans division in Washington, D.C., where he was tasked with crafting a strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe. His extensive knowledge of military strategy, organizational skills, and charismatic leadership inspired those around him to serve under his command.
As a lieutenant general, Eisenhower was chosen to lead the Allied invasion of French North Africa, known as Operation Torch. After gaining the rank of full general, Eisenhower conducted an invasion of fascist Italy, beginning with an amphibious assault of Sicily. This was followed by a mainland invasion and resulted in the fall of Rome. Following his success in Africa and Italy, General Eisenhower was appointed supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in the European theater. In this position, Eisenhower gave the order to execute the largest amphibious attack in history by invading the beaches of Normandy. The attack resulted in the liberation of Paris, victory in the Battle of the Bulge, and an end to the war in Europe. As a product of his leadership, he achieved the rank of five-star general.
When he returned from Europe, Eisenhower served as the president of Columbia University in New York City until President Harry S. Truman asked him to become supreme commander of NATO. In this position, he worked to form a united western coalition to stand in the face of potential communist aggression.
In 1952, Eisenhower received the Republican party’s nomination for president. He brought his knack for inspiration to the political arena, where he emphasized economic health, honesty in government, and an end to the war in Korea that had broken out during his campaign. His down-to-earth message resonated with the American people, winning him the presidency in a landslide of 442 to 89 electoral votes.
During his tenure as president, Eisenhower committed to international peace through collective defense agreements to halt the spread of the oppressive ideology exported by the Soviet Union. This integrated Cold War Strategy united countries in opposition to the humanitarian crimes of Stalinist Russia and inspired heads of state to form a stronghold of freedom and democracy. In 1953, President Eisenhower negotiated a truce to end the Korean War and began the difficult task of bringing peace to the region. Further, his Atoms for Peace speech at the United Nations led to the nonproliferation-oriented International Atomic Energy Agency in subsequent years.
As head of state, President Eisenhower strategically utilized personal diplomacy in his peacebuilding strategy. In his last two years in office, he visited 27 countries, traveling 300,000 miles in the name of diplomacy. He used the invention of television to hold regularly televised news conferences, scheduling high-profile motorcades in foreign capitals to emphasize the similarities between the U.S. and countries around the world. He established Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe as tools of cultural diplomacy, which broadcasted to those living under oppressive regimes and established hope that there was indeed light in the world. He was a military man by trade but warned of the “military-industrial complex” that he foresaw developing as a corollary of the Cold War.
President Eisenhower was an honorable statesman devoted to freedom through cultural diplomacy and coalition building. He identified the similarities between nations rather than the differences and used his hard-earned skills to unite a war-torn world. His legacy is more than a story, but rather a marked example of a truly dedicated statesman.