Next stop – the White House

Berry alumnus Ben Riggs began his time at Berry with an end goal in mind: to get to law school and the White House. With little surprise, he has accomplished both.

After graduation in 2015, the political science major took his passion and what he learned during his four years at Berry to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., where he completed his law degree. He passed the Tennessee Bar Exam and then was accepted into the prestigious White House Internship Program the following summer.

“Berry’s political science program concentrated on conducting close readings of difficult texts ranging from Aristotle to St. Thomas Aquinas and Nietzsche,” Ben says. “This level of comprehension in close reading more than prepared me for the task of not only reading thousands of judicial opinions but being able to understand the law and apply it to future fact patterns.”

Never taking a break while at Berry, Ben served in multiple roles in the Student Government Association, including being president his junior year. He was actively involved with Outdoor Recreation and served on multiple college committees including the Student Life Council, the Budget and Finance Committee and the Honor Code Exploration Committee. Additionally, Ben was a member of the Leadership Fellows Scholarship Program and served as a Presidential Ambassador. His hard work showed when he took home the 21st Century Socrates Award.

“Martha Berry’s focus on educating the whole person through the ‘head, heart, and hands’ has challenged me to continuously become a better person through seeking virtue and always striving to become a better attorney, family member and friend,” he says.

Associate Professor of Government Michael Bailey and the late Dana Professor of Government Peter Lawler served as mentors for Ben. “They both understood the necessity of teaching students how to think, read closely and search for the truth,” Ben says.

Currently, Ben works as a Law Clerk at the Republican National Committee. He plans to apply for the Army JAG Reserve Corp in the coming months and maintain a law practice in Washington D.C.


Written by senior Alexi Bell

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