Distinguished Jurist and Hollins Alumna to Speak at 181st Commencement Exercises

Senior United States District Judge Callie Virginia “Ginny” Smith Granade ’72 will be the guest speaker at Hollins University’s 181st Commencement Exercises on Sunday, May 21. The ceremony will be held on Hollins’ historic Front Quadrangle.

Granade was nominated to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama by President George W. Bush in August 2001 and was sworn in on February 20, 2002. From 2003 to 2010 she served as the district’s chief judge, and in 2016 she chose to take senior status as a federal judge.

Born in Lexington, Virginia, Granade earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972 from Hollins, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1975, she received a juris doctor degree from the University of Texas. From 1975 to 1976, she was a law clerk for the Honorable John C. Godbold, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit.

In 1977, Granade joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, the first female assistant U.S. attorney in that district. Early in her career she gained extensive trial experience prosecuting criminal offenses and defending the United States in civil suits. Her expertise in the courtroom was reflected in her vigorous prosecution of complex white-collar fraud, tax fraud, and public corruption cases. Her prosecution of a multi-defendant, far-reaching, racketeering/public corruption case in 1990 still holds the record as the lengthiest jury trial in the Southern District of Alabama. She also gained extensive appellate experience before the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

In 1990, Granade was promoted to chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. From 1997 until her appointment as interim U.S. attorney in May 2001, she served as first assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Alabama, and as such, was responsible for supervising the overall operation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Recognized as both a leader and teacher in the field of trial practice, Granade has served as an instructor of criminal trial and grand jury practice at the Department of Justice’s Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute. She was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1994 and was Alabama’s first female Fellow.

Granade, a member of the Hollins University Board of Trustees, is married to Fred K. Granade, who recently retired from law practice. They have three grown sons and four granddaughters.

For more information about Hollins’ 181st Commencement Exercises, visit the university’s commencement webpage.