Dr. James P. Holland

Photo of Dr. James P. HollandDr. James P. Holland was the kind of professor every student wanted and every professor strived to become. His love for Biology and his enthusiasm for the subject were contagious. He was someone who could remember your name, even after meeting you only once; Professor Holland somehow turned a large university into a small, special place.

Professor Holland came to Indiana University Bloomington to study zoology in what is now the Department of Biology, earning two degrees in endocrinology: a master's degree in 1958 and a doctorate in 1961. After postdoctoral studies, he joined the Howard University faculty. In 1967, Professor Holland returned to IU as an associate professor in the biology department. It was here that he continued to research reproductive endocrinology, examining the mechanism by which thyroid hormones influence reproductive physiology in the female.

During the next 30 years, Professor Holland's commitment to the University was exceptional, ranging from recruiting and mentoring students to serving as associate dean and interim dean of the Graduate School. He was awarded the Indiana University Distinguished Service Award in 1994. However, one of his greatest legacies was his devotion to education: more than 11,000 undergraduate students took courses from Jim Holland. He also received many "outstanding" or "distinguished" faculty/teaching awards. In 1997, then IU Bloomington Chancellor Kenneth Gros Louis created the Chancellor's Medallion, an award that recognizes those individuals who provided transcendent service to the Bloomington campus. Holland was named the first recipient of this prestigious award. Chancellor Gros Louis noted that Professor Holland had served on every significant university committee and had earned every major teaching award there is on the Bloomington campus - especially those voted on by students.

More importantly, Professor Holland worked tirelessly to address the needs of minority students on this campus. He organized and participated in summer enrichment programs for high school students and summer research programs for college undergraduates. Professor Holland was also the faculty advisor for the Ernest Just Organization in Biology, an undergraduate club at IU named in honor of the first African American to receive a doctorate in both physiology and zoology.

Professor Holland devoted his life to his family, friends, students, and this university until his untimely death on March 24, 1998. Holland had battled cancer for years. Despite the hardships brought about by his failing health, he continued to teach; it was Holland's love for his chosen profession that kept him going. Jim Holland's legacy will live on, not only in the hearts of his loved ones, but also through his former students whose lives he touched, as well as through new generations of students who will find inspiration from his legacy.