Adam Presswood of Elsberry graduated from Washington University in St. Louis on May 18 with a bachelor’s degree in history.
Presswood, a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was selected to serve as a graduation marshal, carrying the banner for his school and leading his peers into the graduation ceremony.
“It was an amazing honor,” said Presswood. “I kept trying to slow the events of the day down so that the moment wouldn’t pass too soon.”
Presswood graduated with final honors, having completed two semesters of honors research during his last year at Washington University and completing a thesis focused on the conflict management strategies of President Franklin Roosevelt during some of the most pivotal moments of WWII.
“The alliance that evolved between Roosevelt and Churchill was not always as peaceful or as consistent as much of the literature might lead one to believe,” said Presswood. “The two leaders differed radically with regard to a number of issues, and those differences of opinion often resulted in potential rifts between the Allies. Had it not been for Roosevelt’s great skill in keeping Churchill at the table during these crucial times, the course of WWII could have been very different, and with it the fate of FDR’s vision for the post-war world.”
Full admission to the honors program that Presswood participated in requires completion of at least six units of advanced-level coursework at the 300 and 400 level within a student’s major and a minimum GPA of 3.65.
Presswood, who graduated from Washington University with a GPA of 3.93, will pursue an M.A. in history at UMSL with an emphasis in museum studies beginning in the fall of 2018.
“I could never have been successful at Washington University without the advice and support of such a phenomenal faculty,” said Presswood. Elisa Wang and Pat Matthews were my proverbial lifesavers, Dale Kretz and Christopher Probst were not only my teachers but became friends and mentors in very short order, and Andrea Friedman was a constant source of candid and practical educational and career advice. I also owe a tremendous debt to Maire Murphy, my thesis advisor, who was so incredibly generous with her time and her expertise. She helped me become a better student, a better researcher, a better writer, and a better historian. I am fortunate to count her among my friends and colleagues as well.”
Presswood added that he looks forward to forming similar relationships with Dr. Andrew Hurley and others at UMSL.