Jacob Rudolph

By Megan Ondrizek

Jacob Rudolph

By Megan Ondrizek
UM’s first Point Scholar graduates with a degree in political science and minors in music, LGBTQ studies, and communication.
Jacob Rudolph

Jacob Rudolph does not shy away from the spotlight. In fact, he finds comfort in it, particularly as a platform to champion civil and human rights.

Originally a music business major, Rudolph graduates from the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences this month with a degree in political science and minors in music, LGBTQ studies, and communication.

In the spring of 2014, Rudolph received the Rim-Freeman Point Scholarship for his demonstrated excellence in LGBTQ leadership, becoming the University’s first Point Scholar. One year later, he was named a John Lewis Fellow and spent four weeks in Atlanta examining the relationships among past and present social movements for civil and human rights. The fellowship expanded his scope of social justice advocacy to include racial justice, along with LGBTQ issues. 

At UM’s Butler Center for Service and Leadership, Rudolph spent the past year as social innovation coordinator, mentoring students who want to create change. For Rudolph, the experience offered a sort of “behind-the-scenes” leadership approach that further allowed him the opportunity to broaden his perspective.

“Jacob is not just an ordinary student but an extraordinary student who has great passion for progress within the LGBTQ community, and especially the University of Miami campus community,” said Andrew Wiemer, director of the Butler Center for Service and Leadership. “In four years, I have witnessed him grow as a unique student leader who is without a doubt going to continue being a vital leader in his community. He will continue to serve as a change agent and is a true role model for others to follow.”

While serving as president of SpectrUM, Rudolph created DragOut – “my proudest accomplishment,” he called it – a highly visible and now annual event for the LGBTQ and allied community that raises funds for suicide prevention and gender and orientation education. He also helped bring actor and activist George Takei to campus, served on the UM Alumni Association’s inaugural LGBTQ affinity group committee, and was a member of the Coalition for Sexual Violence Prevention and Education.

“Jacob has a deep-rooted sense of public consciousness and a keen appreciation of the power of public ideas,” said Arthur M. Simon, senior lecturer and undergraduate advisor in the department of political science, who has served as mentor and faculty advisor to Rudolph for two years.

Immediately after graduation, Rudolph will return to his hometown of Parsippany, New Jersey, with the intent to pursue post-graduate studies and eventually run for public office.