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March 25, 2014

Judge Horace Ward ’59, an extraordinary alum

by Dan Rodriguez

Amazing denouement to a story that began with a talented, intrepid young Georgean, Horace Ward, who, as an African American, was rejected as a law student at the University of Georgia in the early 1950’s.  He persisted with his strong claim of racial discrimination and the dispute ended only when Mr. Ward was successful in seeking admission to Northwestern University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1959.

He continued on to a stellar career as a lawyer, a state senator, and, with President Carter’s appointment, the first African-American federal judge in Georgia.  The University of Georgia, of course, become desegregated in later years — surely in no small part due to the efforts of this remarkable man.

This May, U. Georgia will be awarding Judge Ward an honorary doctor of laws.  I know all members of the NU Law community will commend UGA on this appropriate, if long overdue, gesture.  And, likewise, all will join me in a warm congratulations to the great Judge Ward!

Here are two interesting commentaries, the first from the UGA press release and the second, somewhat more fulsome, story from an encyclopedia entry.

(thanks to Tony Tangora, in our development office, for pointing me to this story).


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