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Friends, Roommates Share M.J.J. Smith History Honors

“It was very cool to win the M.J.J. Smith award with Jacob Judd because we’ve been roommates since sophomore year. He’s been one of my best friends on campus since the early stages of my college career.”— Jacob Fox

<em>From left: Jacob Fox, Jacob Judd</em> From left: Jacob Fox, Jacob JuddJacob Fox and Jacob Judd, two 2016 Alma College graduates and college roommates, have been awarded the M.J.J. Smith Society Scholarship.

The Smith Scholarship is awarded to the college’s most outstanding graduating history majors and carries up to $20,000 to apply toward post-graduate study.

Fox will attend law school at the Michigan State University College of Law. He credits his senior thesis, “The Political Professor: How Non-Governmental Intellectuals Influenced Franklin Roosevelt’s ‘Court Packing’ Plan,” for sparking his interest in attending law school. A graduate of Marysville High School, he is the son of Peter and Lisa Fox.

<em>Katherine Vaillancourt</em> Katherine Vaillancourt“My two thesis advisors, Dr. Kristin Olbertson and Dr. Ed Lorenz, have had a profound role in shaping me throughout my time at Alma,” says Fox. “I decided to go to law school in part because of my senior thesis and Dr. Olbertson’s constitutional law class. Both experiences showed me that law is a powerful tool to create positive social change. And that’s what I want to do. I want to go into public interest law, possibly work for organized labor.”

Judd will pursue his master’s degree in history at Western Michigan University. A graduate of Fowlerville High School, he is the son of Ted and JoAnne Judd’ 89.

“It’s been a good four years,” says Judd. “I’ve enjoyed forming relationships with the professors, especially in the history department. They provided guidance and mentorship, helping me prepare for graduate school. My time at Alma has made me stronger, and I am ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Fox and Judd have been friends since their freshman year.

<em>Danialle Stebbins</em> Danialle Stebbins“It was very cool to win the M.J.J. Smith award with Jacob because we’ve been roommates since sophomore year,” says Fox. “He’s been one of my best friends on campus. We’ve been really involved in the history department and worked together to revive the History Club.”

A member of the Alma College history and pre-law faculty for 32 years, M.J.J. Smith retired in 1997. He had an influential impact on many Alma College alumni who have gone on to careers in law and business.

Katherine Vaillancourt and Danialle Stebbins also were honored by the History Department. Vaillancourt, of Hillsdale, received the James E. Mitchell Senior History Honors Scholarship, while Stebbins, of St. Johns, received the Jean Fox Abruzzino Memorial Award.

Story published on April 25, 2016