2019 Award: Phi Alpha Theta History Award
Hometown: Jackson, WY
Extracurricular activities: Knights of Columbus, Marine Officer Programs, Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, local volunteering
About the award
The Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society was founded in 1921 to promote the study and research of graduate and undergraduate History, and now serves over 860 university chapters around the country. The Phi Alpha Theta Prize is an award given each year to the top senior member of the Gonzaga University Xi Gamma Chapter, now in its 51st year. We are proud to give this year’s award to a singularly talented and dedicated senior, Mr.—soon to be 2ndLT, USMC—John Murray.
It is probably safe to say that Jack has been the top student in every class he has taken in our department. He graduates with a GPA of 3.95 and an impressive collection of superb research and writing under his belt; among his finest works is a paper he delivered at the Phi Alpha Theta Regional conference in 2018 entitled, “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tarawa: World War II and the Forging of the Modern Marine Corps.”
In addition to being one of the finest scholars we have ever produced, Jack was also a trusted colleague, working for two years as a super-efficient and unusually reliable student assistant in the history department. Although we will all greatly miss Jack’s good humor, excellent work, and stabilizing influence on our department floor, it is consoling to know that Gonzaga’s loss will the US Marine Corps’ gain. Congratulations to Jack Murray, the winner of the 2019 History Department Phi Alpha Theta Award.
More about Jack
After graduation, I will commission into the Marine Corps. I hope to lead Marines in the Fleet for at least four years before I consider doing anything else.
How has your major contributed to your professional or personal development?
Studying history has humbled me and helped me develop my view of the world. In addition to improving my ability to articulate myself, history has imbued me with a respect for the past and a drive to be worthy of what I've inherited from those who came before me.
What has been your proudest or most significant accomplishment during your Gonzaga career?
My proudest accomplishment was earning the opportunity to serve in the Marine Corps. I owe a debt of gratitude to my friends, family, and mentors at Gonzaga for their guidance along the way.