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Professor, student collaborate on award-winning piece exploring suffrage and the Pandemic of 1918

Lucy Murphy and Christopher Graham
Christopher Graham and Lucy Murphy at Boise City Hall near “Suffrage Quilt” by artist Stephanie Inman commemorating the 19th Amendment. Graham received his law degree from the University of Idaho in 2000 and practices law in Boise. Boise State’s history faculty, Graham said, gave him “a solid foundation in terms of analytical thought, reading, research and writing. I got a great springboard into law school.” John Kelly photo.

When Lucy Murphy (BS, business and economics analytics, 2022) arrived as a freshman at Boise State from Twin Falls, Idaho, she was wary of the university’s size. She joined the Honors College in search of a smaller community within the university. Over time, she said, the college grew from a place to find friendship to a place where she found mentorship and opportunity.

In 2020, Murphy took an Honors College course, Legal History of Sports, taught by alum Christopher Graham (BA, history, 1995). In teaching the course, Graham was reviving a course he’d loved as an undergraduate taught by the late Professor Patricia Ourada, author of “The Broncos: A History of Boise State University Athletics, 1932-1994.”

Murphy excelled in the class that focused on player disputes, sports gambling, amateurism, the impact of Title IX and more. So, when Graham got the chance to write an article for an issue of The Advocate, the publication of the Idaho State Bar, he invited Murphy to help with research and editing.

Their piece, “Women’s Suffrage and the Pandemic of 1918,” appeared in an issue celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment that recognized women’s right to vote. The article notes that like COVID-19 that derailed countless events, the pandemic of 1918, aka the Spanish Flu, nearly derailed the suffrage movement. In July of 2021, The Advocate’s editorial board named Graham’s and Murphy’s piece the Best Article of 2020.

“It was rewarding to see an idea go from research, to publication, to a live awards ceremony,” Murphy said. “I am so appreciative of Chris Graham, and of everyone in the Honors College.”

As an undergraduate, Murphy served a two-year internship at the Hershey Company – yes, chocolate – that has an office in Meridian, Idaho. She graduated in May and continues her work there as an analyst.