History and Literature grad Arant headed to law school

Release Date: 5/30/2013

Matt Arant, a 2012 Ozarks graduate, will begin a next chapter of his life this fall at Mercer Law School in Macon, Ga.

Matt Arant

Matt Arant, who graduated from Ozarks in 2012 with a major in history and literature, will attend Mercer Law School in the fall.

Arant, originally from Georgetown, Texas, came to Ozarks to study history, but his plans changed after he discovered a love of literature.

"After taking a couple of literature classes, I started to explore adding an English minor," he said. "When the history and literature major came along a short while later, I knew it was perfect for me. Combining history and literature in one program offers another level of understanding these two subjects.  Most literature is not written in a vacuum, and authors are cognizant of events happening while they are writing.  Applying the events occurring at the time of publication can influence the way literature is interpreted."

Arant, who graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors in 2012, was accepted to several graduate programs both in the United States and Great Britain. He credits the history and literature program at Ozarks with preparing him to think critically and analytically, which, he believes, will serve him well at Mercer.

"A liberal arts education promotes analytical thinking above all else, and the history and literature program has done a good job keeping those ideals in place," Arant explained.

"For example, in Dr. [David] Strain's literature classes, he encouraged us to write about subjects that have not been exhaustively examined as long as they could be backed up with convincing evidence or textual support.  This allowed me to write papers comparing John Wilkes Booth to Brutus of Julius Caesar and how minstrel shows produced in 19th century America contradicted Shakespeare's portrayal of Othello.  I feel that Ozarks' trademark small class sizes and encouragement to 'think outside the box,' especially regarding research, has more than adequately prepared me for the nuances of studying and later practicing law," he said.

Arant is happy to have had the chance to study two of his favorite subjects at once and hopes other students will take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by the history and literature program at Ozarks.

"I hope that this program continues to thrive.  I feel that Ozarks does a great job in preparing students for not only the workplace but also graduate and professional schools," he said.