Albion alumna conquers Jeopardy

Sarah McNitt, ’02 alumna, was a recent contestant and winner on the hit game show Jeopardy! What made McNitt’s time on Jeopardy! truly exceptional is that she won five consecutive games,  meaning she is eligible to be asked back to Jeopardy! to participate in the Tournament of Champions. McNitt’s total winnings of the five episodes are an impressive combined total of $91,398.

While a student at Albion College, McNitt majored in French and even studied in Grenoble, France during her junior year. Though she admits she hasn’t kept in touch with any of her professors, her advisor was Dr. Guenin-Lelle and she fondly recalls classes with Dr. Yewah.

When asked if she had any Slumdog Millionaire-like moments with her experience at Albion College while on Jeoprady!

“There weren’t any questions that came up that I could trace directly to an Albion course, Slumdog Millionaire-style, but I would say that the history classes I took at Albion from Geoffrey Cocks and Allen Horstman were probably the most helpful,” McNitt said.

It seems that history classes aren’t completely useless.

In addition to that, McNitt talked about the strengths of a liberal arts education and how much it helped her on Jeopardy!

“I think that having a broad liberal arts education that touched on a number of different subjects was good preparation for Jeopardy!,” McNitt said.  “The structure of a liberal arts curriculum seemed frustrating at times when I was a student and I didn’t want to get up for a 8:30 science class, but looking back, it was valuable to be exposed to a variety of different topics and ways of thinking.”

Current students also enjoyed the prospect of an Albion alumna being on Jeopardy! as well.

“That’s pretty cool,” said Rachel Cain-Kellman, Traverse City sophomore.  “You always here about State alums and stuff being on it, so it’s cool that someone from a small school got on.”

“It’s great to see Albion College get recognition when typically it’s only State or University of Michigan when it comes to things like that,” said Joe Wright, Shelby Township first-year.

McNitt has benevolent goals with her winnings.  In October, her mother passed away to a nine-month battle to Leukemia. While talking to the Des Moines Register McNitt said that she plans to hold an event where people can donate blood and bone marrow in Iowa City to help out others who have Leukemia.

If there’s anything to take away from her experience, McNitt knows that doing so well on Jeopardy! is proof that Albion College is actually always thinking.

Photo via

REVISED:  The story, initially posted on Jan. 30, has been revised to reflect the change that McNitt graduated in ’02, not ’04.

About Joshua Van Laan 39 Articles
Josh Van Laan is currently a sociology major from Clinton Township.

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