Interim President Constance Hungerford's Charge to Randy Holland '69

Randy Holland '69

Randy Holland, you are a legal scholar and public servant of the highest order. Your contributions to legal scholarship and to the field of legal ethics and professionalism are renowned and widely honored. Currently a Justice on the Delaware Supreme Court, you are the youngest person ever appointed to that court. Moreover, you are the longest-serving Delaware Supreme Court Justice in history, having been reappointed in 2011 for an unprecedented third 12-year term.

Growing up in Milford, Delaware, in a blue-collar family, you rose from humble beginnings and have maintained an admired humility ever since. You graduated from Swarthmore in 1969, having majored in economics. Three years later, you graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where you received the Harry C. Loughlin Award for legal ethics. Years later, you also received a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia Law School and an honorary Doctor of Laws from our neighbor in Chester, Widener University, where you have served as an adjunct law professor since 1991.

But your stay in Pennsylvania after graduate school would not last. Moving back to Delaware, you established your capable and respected practice of law and eventually became a partner in the well-known law firm, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell.

Then in 1986, you were appointed and confirmed as a Justice on the Delaware State Supreme Court. Your presence, legal guidance, and wisdom on the bench have helped maintain one of the most respected state supreme courts in the country.

The numerous awards you have received include the 2014 American Inns of Court Powell Award for Professionalism and Ethics, the 2011 Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence, and the 1992 Judge of the Year Award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association. Chief Justices William Rehnquist and John Roberts also appointed you as the state judge member of the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules. 

A special honor, in 2004, you were elected to be an Honorable Master of the Bench by Lincoln’s Inn in London – the third American to ever receive such an honor, the others being Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

You are frequently described as a man of high moral character and integrity and one of the most prominent people in the judicial system in the world. In that light, you have been recognized as one of the top 100 influencers of business ethics in the United States and your international work with the Chief Justice of Taiwan demonstrates your commitment to the principles of judicial ethics and the moral code.

Your extensive participation in the legal community illustrates the degree of dedication to your profession to which you hold yourself. Among many other achievements, you have been the past national president of the American Inns of Court Foundation. You co-chair the national advisory committee to the American Judicature Society’s Center for Judicial Ethics. You are a member of the American Law Institute. Lastly, you have written, co-authored, or edited nine books, many of which receive frequent praise for the quality of their analysis and discourse.

Randy, the depth of your involvement in your honorable profession exceeds the reach of mere words of praise. The humility, sincerity, and tireless devotion you have carried throughout your life’s endeavors deserve the greatest recognition and admiration, representing, as they do, qualities we can all seek to emulate.

Upon the recommendation of the faculty and by the power vested in me by the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have the honor to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Laws.