Rowland W. Barnes '62 Memorial Project
On March 11, 2005, the Lebanon Valley College Community was devastated to learn of the death of the Hon. Rowland W. Barnes, a successful alumnus, generous supporter, and treasured friend. A Georgia state judge, Rowland Barnes had been gunned down in his Fulton County Courthouse (for further details, see the historical information section in the lower part of this page).
One of the Valley's most prominent alumni, Judge Barnes had kept in touch with classmates and teammates for decades following his 1962 graduation. In the aftermath of the sorrow, alumni and friends came together for a special purpose–to honor this man who gave so much of himself to his family, his community, and to his alma mater. The Rowland W. Barnes '62 Memorial Project Committee was formed; their goal has been to create a scholarship in memory of Judge Barnes that would benefit a student actively involved in civic engagement.
The goal of the Rowland W. Barnes '62 Memorial Project has been to raise funds to provide partial scholarship assistance to selected junior and senior year students. Preference will be given to students who are planning to attend law school and intend to go into public service or a career that involves a high level of civic engagement. Furthermore, just like Rowland, the student will have a commitment to democratic values and to making a contribution to society as a whole.
In September 2007, Dwight A. Decker was named as the first Barnes Scholar. A member of the Class of 2009 at LVC, Dwight is from Harrisburg, and a graduate of Central Dauphin East High School. He pursued a dual major in political science and philosophy, with a minor in law and society. During the Spring 2008 semester, he participated in the College's study abroad program in Perugia, Italy. On campus, Dwight was a resident assistant for North College, the community service-driven house on campus. He was also a peer tutor, co-president of the Tae Kwon Do club, and a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Through a prelaw internship he actively contributed to the work of Mid-Penn Legal Services in Lebanon. Since graduating from LVC, Dwight completed his JD at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in 2012 (in his third year at Dickinson Law, Dwight served as Executive Editor for Recent Developments for the Yearbook on Mediation and Arbitration) and began his public-service career as an Assistant Counsel with the Pennsylvania Worker's Compensation Appeal Board.
Tiffany Hubble was awarded the second Barnes Scholarship in September 2009. Tiffany graduated LVC in 2011 with majors in political science and philosophy and minors in art and art history and law and society. She completed a Prelaw internship with Mid-Penn Legal Services in Lebanon, was actively involved in Freedom Rings, and served as a peer tutor while at LVC. Tiffany's undergraduate research paper on post-conviction access to DNA evidence has been presented at political science conferences in Harrisburg (March 2010) and Chicago (April 2011). As of summer 2013, Tiffany is preparing to enter her third year as a student at Widener University School of Law; she spent the summer of 2012 studying law in Switzerland and is currently interning in the Environmental Law clinic at Widener.
The third Barnes Scholarship was awarded to Christa Levko in 2010. Christa graduated LVC in 2012 with a major in political science and minors in music and law and society. Christa completed a summer 2011 Arnold Grant funded internship with the Center for Advancing Justice at the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, DC and a spring 2012 internship with Mid-Penn Legal Services, Lebanon. She presented her undergraduate research on the U.S. Supreme Court's Ashcroft v. Iqbal decision at political science conferences in Allentown and Chicago in March and April 2012. Among other campus contributions, Christa served as President of Freedom Rings at LVC. Currently, Christa is preparing to enter her second year at Hofstra University Law School where she has been awarded a competitive fellowship. Christa is spending the summer of 2013 as a law intern with ILGA World (an international LGBT human rights organization) in Brussels Belgium.
The Community of Lebanon Valley College was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of the Hon. Rowland W. Barnes '62, a Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court judge, who was killed in his Atlanta, Ga. courtroom on Friday, March 11. His court reporter and a deputy were killed and an additional deputy was wounded after a defendant grabbed a gun from a deputy sheriff and opened fire, news reports said. A search for the suspect, identified by police as Brian Nichols, 34, ended with his surrender after a daylong manhunt.
The suspect was reportedly in Barnes' courtroom facing a retrial for rape and kidnapping after his first trial resulted in a hung jury. Nichols fled immediately after the shootings and was believed to have tried to carjack several vehicles. Barnes, who presided over civil and criminal cases was "extremely highly thought of in the legal community," attorney B.J. Bernstein told CNN.
"The sadness among lawyers is so great, it can't be expressed," defense attorney Ed Garland was quoted as saying on the WXIA-TV Atlanta website. "Of course, he was adored by his family. Barnes was "a bright light for justice, with huge compassion and love and humor. The whole state and every citizen has had a great loss today," Garland continued. "He was just deeply loved. Everyone knew that he cared about justice for both sides."
Barnes was also highly regarded at Lebanon Valley College, where he was an economics major who played back-up quarterback on the football team to which Gregory G. Stanson '63, now vice president for enrollment and student services, was a student manager. "Everyone liked him," Stanson said. "He was a very personable guy, caring and compassionate - a people guy."
Barnes was last on campus on October 9, 2004, for the dedication of the John Zola Memorial, a statue of a teammate who died after collapsing during a football game in September 1961. During his recent visit to LVC, Stanson recalled, " Barnes talked on and on about how much he liked being a judge, because he liked working with people, trying to rehabilitate folks. He would go out of his way to be so fair."
Coach William McHenry of Wooster, Ohio, who coached Barnes for a year at LVC, recalled that as a young athlete, " Barnes had a wonderful attitude. He recognized his role as a back-up quarterback, and it was never a problem for him. He never asked for more playing time." Barnes was part of the 1961 MAC Southern Division Championship Team that has remained close throughout the years, and now holds reunions at LVC every few years.
Judge Barnes joined the bench on July 10, 1998. He is also a 1972 graduate of Emory Law School in Atlanta. Barnes is survived by his wife, Claudia, his adult daughters Kiley and Holly, his stepchildren Dia, Lonnie, Leah, and Jesse, and three grandchildren.
Most recently, Judge Barnes (pictured in the second row, second from the left) returned to the LVC for the unveiling of the John Zola Memorial. Dedicated on Saturday, October 9, 2004, the bronze bust honors Judge Barnes' teammate and friend John Zola who in September of 1961 suffered a fatal injury in the football game against Drexel.