The Julian Parker Lecture Series honors the former longtime chair of the education department and dean of the graduate school at Xavier University, New Orleans. Parker was a national leader on urban education and race relations. In the 1960s, Parker was instrumental in dealing with issues of race and diversity when he worked at the University of St. Thomas in an exchange program between the nation’s historically black colleges and private colleges in Minnesota.
This year's keynote speaker is Chief District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., '70, U.S. States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., is one of four U.S. District Judges in the Middle District of Tennessee. President Bill Clinton nominated him upon the recommendation of Vice President Albert Gore, and with the generous support of Senators Bill Frist and Fred Thompson, the Senate consented to his appointment. In 1999, he was confirmed to succeed the Honorable Thomas A. Higgins making him the first African American federal judge in the Middle District of Tennessee. In August 2012, Haynes became Chief Judge succeeding U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell.
Judge Haynes graduated from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History in 1970. In 1973, he was graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. The faculty awarded him the Bennett Douglas Bell Award for the member of the third year class who would commit “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his God”.
Haynes began his legal career in the Tennessee State Attorney General's Office as an Assistant State Attorney General (1973 to 1977). He was also a Senior State Assistant General (1977-1978) and a Deputy State Attorney General (1978-1984). Haynes was twice recommended for a vacancy on the Tennessee Court of Appeals by the Tennessee Appellate Court Nominating Commission in the 1980s before being appointed as magistrate judge for the Middle District of Tennessee in December 1984. He has authored several decisions for the Sixth Circuit, his notable cases include the RCA’s contractual dispute to produce Elvis Presley’s recordings, the Metro jails conditions case.
For several years, Haynes was a lecturer in law at the Vanderbilt Law School. Haynes’ other professional activities include his published works: “State Antitrust Laws” (Bureau of National Affairs 1989), a survey of the antitrust laws of the fifty states and territories. His other writings include “Original Intent” a play based upon James Madison’s notes of the Constitutional Convention’s debates on slavery and “The Early Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee.”
He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and Fellow of the Tennessee and Nashville Bar Foundations and was elected as a board member of the Napier-Looby Bar and Nashville Bar Associations. Haynes was elected first vice-president of the Nashville Bar Association and currently serves as a member of the selection committee for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.