“I hope to continue the tradition that is rich at Alma College, to seek ways to impact my profession in appreciation of what the faculty have done for me, just as M.J.J. Smith’s students did.” — Joshua Pretzer
Joshua Pretzer studies American history of the late 19th and 20th centuries. He has a specific academic interest in religious nationalism and ways religious ideas and understandings of democracy have shaped society.
The senior from Mount Pleasant has been awarded the M.J.J. Smith Society Scholarship, which is given annually to Alma College’s most outstanding graduating history major. The scholarship carries up to $20,000 to apply toward post-graduate study.
Pretzer plans to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Montana, with an eventual goal of obtaining a faculty position at a college or university.
“I hope to continue the tradition that is rich at Alma College, to seek ways to impact my profession in appreciation of what the faculty have done for me, just as M.J.J. Smith’s students did,” says Pretzer.
M.J.J. Smith was a member of the Alma College history and pre-law faculty for 32 years, retiring in 1997. He had an influential impact on many Alma College alumni who have gone on to careers in law and business.
Pretzer presented his senior thesis, titled “How Progressivism Contributed to a New Conservatism: William Volker, Harold Luhnow and Municipal Reform,” at Honors Day in April.
Michael Lumley, a junior from Marine City, also was honored by the History Department. He received the Jean Fox Abruzzino Memorial Award, which recognizes academic excellence and provides financial support for study in the senior year at Alma.