U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. Set to Speak at Fall Honors Convocation

… Tickets available Sept. 10

Eric H. Holder Jr.

OXFORD, Miss. – Eric H. Holder Jr., the 82nd attorney general of the United States, is the guest speaker for this year’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College fall convocation at the University of Mississippi.

Set for 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, the lecture is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required. Free tickets, which are limited to two per person, will be available starting Monday (Sept. 10) at the UM Box Office in the Student Union. Box Office hours are 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

Holder’s address is one of the kickoff events for the university’s commemoration of 50 years of integration.“Fifty years after James Meredith integrated the University of Mississippi, we’ll gather to hear the thoughts of the nation’s attorney general, and an African-American attorney general at that,” said Douglass Sullivan-González, dean of the Honors College.

An honors class will complement Holder’s visit. Curtis Wilkie, Cook Chair of Journalism, and Marvin King, associate professor of political science, are co-teaching a course called “Opening the Closed Society: 50 Years of Integration at Ole Miss.” Students taking this honors course will have dinner with the attorney general before his address.

“We are delighted that our students will be sitting at the table with a public figure who’s been tested by fire,” Sullivan-González said. “He will surely have thought-provoking insights into the challenges of public service and the reasons for choosing that route and sticking with it.”

In 1997, Holder was named by President Clinton to be the deputy attorney general, the first African-American named to that post. Before that, he served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. In 1988, Holder was nominated by President Reagan to become an associate judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Holder, a native of New York City, graduated from Columbia College in 1973 and from Columbia Law School in 1976. While in law school, he clerked at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Upon graduating, he moved to Washington and joined the Department of Justice as part of the attorney general’s honors program. He was assigned to the newly formed public integrity section in 1976 and was tasked to investigate and prosecute official corruption on the local, state and federal levels.

Before becoming attorney general, Holder was a litigation partner at Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, D.C. He lives in Washington with his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, a physician, and their three children.

The Honors College spring convocation will feature columnist George Will in February 2013.

For more information on the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, go to http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/.