June 5, 2014
Brandon Bub ’14 was named a student Presidential Fellow to the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington, D.C., during spring 2014. The organization also recognized Bub with the Donald B. Marron Award for the Most Original Historical Analysis for his paper “Crucified: LBJ and Escalation in Vietnam, 1963-1965.” His paper will be published in the Center’s forthcoming annual publication, the Fellows Review.
Bub, who earned Bachelor’s degrees in English, history and political science in May from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, was one of 75 students from across the country invited to attend the center’s two weekend conferences to study leadership and governance in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. There, Bub had the opportunity to interact with high-level government officials involved in the policymaking process, as well as other high-achieving students.
The Plano, Texas, native developed his research paper under the guidance of Thomas Knock, an Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of History, as well as a mentor provided by the nonprofit, nonpartisan center. He presented his project at the conferences. Bub’s project was one of only three to receive an award from the Center this year.
Bub, a President’s Scholar and Tower Center Fellow at SMU, studied President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to escalate the Vietnam War in 1965, and whether there might have been opportunity to draw down the war and still achieve the president’s domestic policy goals. Bub believes Vietnam is still among the most important case studies from which we can learn.
“Many of the dynamics that went into deciding to escalate the war were controversial then and remain controversial now,” Bub says. “We continue to debate the role of American foreign policy and the proper place for American intervention.”
In fall 2014 Bub will begin teaching U.S. and world history at his alma mater, Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.
“For this project Brandon focused on the intense debate among scholars over Johnson’s fateful decision in July 1965,” says Knock. “He is one of the very finest students I've encountered in 25 years of teaching at SMU, regardless of major. The History Department was thrilled to hear the news of his award.”
Learn more about the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.