Alumni Spotlight: Josh Borderud

May 12, 2023

We are delighted to feature Joshua G. (Josh) Borderud, a distinguished alumnus of Baylor University who has accomplished much since completing his B.A. and M.A. in History in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Alongside his impressive academic background, Josh holds a J.D. from Baylor Law School, which he earned in 2009.

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Josh was recognized as an Outstanding Graduate Student by the Graduate School during his time at Baylor, a testament to his academic prowess and dedication to his studies. Josh has come to call Waco, Texas, his adopted hometown, where he currently lives. He currently serves as Mayor Pro-Tem of Waco, and has been a member of the Waco City Council since his election in 2020. Josh is Director of Clinical Pro Bono Programs and a Clinical Lecturer at the Baylor Law School. For his work with the Veterans Clinic, the Estate Planning Clinic, the Trial Advocacy Clinic, and the Pro Bono/Public Service Program, he received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service from the American Inns Court at the Supreme Court of the United States. 

We asked him a few questions to better understand his experience at Baylor:

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- How did your history major prepare you for your current career or personal life?
As a history major, I learned valuable research, writing, and critical thinking skills that I employ daily as an attorney. I am deeply grateful to the faculty of Baylor's history department who cultivated in their students nuanced intellectual habits, including analytical rigor, the importance of social context, and the value of effective and precise communication. The mentoring I received from Baylor history professors while I was a student benefited me long after graduation.

- How have you continued to engage with and stay informed about historical events and perspectives since graduating?
As a member of the Waco City Council, I had the honor of speaking at the Texas Historical Marker unveiling ceremony for the 1916 lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco. The ceremony itself was a repudiation of that horrific episode of racial violence.

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- Can you tell us about a historical event or period that you feel particularly connected to?
The United States in the 1920s has long been of interest to me. The dawn of the radio era, the mass production of the automobile, the shifts in societal attitudes about gender roles, and the style and design of the age laid foundations for the way we live today. One of my favorite novels is The Great Gatsby, which is set in the early 1920s, and both my house and my church were built during this period.