2023 Commencement Speaker

Ginny S. Granade ’72 will be the guest speaker at Hollins University’s 181st Commencement Exercises.

Ginny S. Granade is a Senior United States District Judge in the Southern District of Alabama. She was nominated by President George W. Bush in August, 2001 and was sworn in as a Judge on February 20, 2002.  She served as Chief Judge of that judicial district from February 2003 until February 2010. In 2016 she took Senior status, making way for a new judge to be appointed. She continues to carry a caseload.

Prior to assuming the bench Judge Granade worked as a federal prosecutor. She was born on March 7, 1950 in Lexington, Virginia. She received her primary education in Louisville, Kentucky, and her Bachelor of Arts degree, Cum Laude, from Hollins College (now Hollins University) in Roanoke, Va. in 1972, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa member. In 1975, she received a juris doctor degree from the University of Texas. From 1975 to 1976, Judge Granade was a law clerk to the Honorable John C. Godbold, Jr., United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth (now Eleventh) Circuit.

In 1977, Judge Granade joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, in Mobile, Alabama, as 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 became most evident 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, Judge Granade was promoted to Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. From 1997 until her appointment as interim United States Attorney in May 2001, Judge Granade served as First Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Alabama, and as such, was responsible for supervising the overall operation, both legal and administrative, of the United States Attorney’s Office.

She was recognized as both a leader and instructor in the field of trial practice. Judge 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.

Judge Granade is married to Fred K. Granade, who recently retired from law practice. They have three grown sons and four granddaughters.