Hon. J. Leon Holmes, Retired Federal Judge, Joins WCC Board

The Honorable J. Leon Holmes, a retired federal judge with strong ties to the Wyoming Catholic College community, is the newest member of the College’s Board of Directors. “I’ve had the pleasure of calling upon Judge Holmes’ expertise and guidance with regularity over the last few years,” said President Kyle Washut. “And I’ve have the even-greater pleasure of calling him a friend. His wise counsel has been of great value to me and to the College, and I’m deeply grateful that he has agreed to join our Board.”

“I have had the privilege of getting to know the people at Wyoming Catholic College. The College has a strong faculty, an excellent staff, and terrific students,” said Judge Holmes. “I am honored to be invited to participate in this Christian mission as a member of the Board of Directors.”

Judge Holmes received his Bachelor of Arts from Arkansas State University in 1973, his Master’s from Northern Illinois University in 1976, and his Doctorate from Duke University in 1980. In 1982, he earned a juris doctor from the University of Arkansas, graduating first in his class. From 1983 until July 2004, he practiced law privately, except for a two-year break from 1990 to 1992—during which time he served as a member of the teaching faculty at Thomas Aquinas College. In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated him to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and he served in that position from 2004 until his retirement in February 2020.

Shortly after retirement, he came to Wyoming Catholic College as a visiting professor, joining his son, Professor Jeremy Holmes on the College’s faculty, teaching political philosophy in the Fall of 2020. Judge Holmes spent another semester in Lander in the Spring of 2022, when he taught freshman theology. He was of counsel with the firm of Quattlebaum Grooms & Tull PLLC from August 2021 through July 2023, and currently offers arbitration and mediation services in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Judge and his wife, Susan, have five children, 22 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

On September 17th, 2020, Judge Holmes delivered the featured lecture for our annual Constitution Day celebration, “We Hold Three Truths: Celebrating the American Constitution with James Madison & John Paul II.” The video of that talk is available below, and the text, HERE (pdf).

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