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Spessard L. Holland College of Law Fund

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This fund was established in 1979 in honor of Spessard L. Holland to support the College of Law. Holland was born in Bartow, FL in 1892. He attended Emory College (currently Emory University) in 1912 and began attending law school at the University of Florida in 1916.

He served in World War I in the Army Air Corps and survived his plane being shot down during combat. After the war, Holland returned to Florida and was appointed Polk County prosecutor. He was elected county judge in 1920. Holland returned to private practice in 1928, forming the partnership that would later evolve into Holland & Knight, one of the country’s biggest law firms.

Serving as Governor of Florida during World War II, Holland was able to eradicate the state’s $4 million debt incurred by the previous administration. He was responsible for funding the purchase of school textbooks, as well as building over 1,500 miles of highway. A nature lover, Holland was instrumental in the creation of the Everglades National Park and the Fresh Water Fish Commission. He served as a U.S. Senator from 1946 to 1971 and never lost an election. Holland left office in January 1971 and died at age 79 on November 6, 1971.

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