Honors Student Looks to a Future in History
By Claudia G. Chamberlain
The late President Harry S. Truman and actress Hayley Mills might not appear to have much in common, but to Leslie Horner they're equally interesting.
Horner, who graduates next weekend with a B.A. and double majors in history and political science, and will speak at the afternoon ceremony 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 War II. "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 the 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 issues.
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 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 level.