Honors Student Looks to Future in History
(Released: May 17, 2002)
By Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications
STORRS, Conn. --The late President Harry S. Truman and actress
Hayley Mills might not appear to have much in common, but to Leslie
Horner of SOUTHINGTON they're equally interesting.
Horner, who graduates May 18 with a bachelor's degree and
double majors in history and political science and who will speak
during the afternoon Commencement ceremony at the University of
Connecticut as a senior class representative, wrote her senior
honors thesis on Truman. The 75-page thesis looks at the former
President's attitude toward the Soviet Union following World
"His opinion on the potential for cooperation with the
Soviets changed from the end of the war until the time of the
Truman Doctrine in 1947," Horner says. "He decided there
was no potential for cooperation, and a majority of influences
around him confirmed that."
In her spare time, Horner loves to watch movies. A summer job at
the Southington drive-in movie theater led to a scholarship from
the Connecticut Association of Theater Owners. A highlight of the
experience was the opportunity to meet 56-year-old actress Hayley
Mills, best known for her roles in Parent Trap,
Moon-Spinners, and Pollyanna, during the
association's annual dinner.
Horner, who also enjoys playing the violin and building and
collecting doll houses, says she's thoroughly enjoyed her time
at the University. Her pride in UConn is something she eagerly
passed along -- particularly to high school juniors and seniors
visiting the Storrs campus -- through her work as a tour guide.
"It was an opportunity for me to encourage others to see
the good things about UConn," she says.
Horner also has been a member of a new peer judicial board,
launched last year. The role involved her in student disciplinary
proceedings, most of which involved alcohol or fire and safety
A Nutmeg Scholar and honors student, Horner is a recipient of
the Augusta H. Gerberich Award for distinction in the study of
international relations, and she was inducted last spring into Phi
Beta Kappa. In 1998 she graduated as class valedictorian from her
hometown high school in Southington.
What's ahead for this energetic May graduate?
"I'm looking for a summer job and will return in the
fall to attend graduate school, '' says Horner.
Her goal: to teach history at the secondary or University
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