Bob Jacon ’67 is now retired, but before going into retirement he worked as a lawyer for forty-two years. From 1977-1985, Jacon served as a local town judge in the inimicality where he resided, dealing primarily with traffic issues and minor criminal conduct. He did not serve as a judge again until 2006, when he was elected as criminal court judge in upstate New York, dealing with much more severe crimes.
In his position, Jacon says that, “keeping an open mind and not letting prejudices color the ability to understand an issue” was extremely important in order to view both sides fairly. These are values and skills that he says he retained from his education at Saint Michael’s College.
During a time when Saint Michael’s was strictly a male institution, Jacon was taught about the value of respecting other individuals, especially females. Jacon thinks this assisted him when working as a lawyer with female clients and as a judge overseeing cases involving female victims. “If you understand and sympathize a little bit with their dilemma, then I think you can address their issues more directly”.
Looking back on his career and its accomplishments now, Jacon gives credits to his years spent in Vermont, nearly four decades ago; “I’ve been lucky and part of that luck is based on the fact that I went to Saint Michael’s where I got a good education and I met a lot of really nice people”.
Continuing on, Jacon advises students to, “Worry about getting an education, not a diploma. Don’t worry about it! Everyone gets one before they get out. You go to college to get educated”.