Judge to speak at LC commencement

April 28, 2017

Judge Richard Story Richard W. Story ’75, U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Georgia, will be the commencement speaker at LaGrange College’s graduation ceremonies May 20 at 8:30 a.m. on the college’s Residential Quad.

The Rev. Dr. Royeese Stowe, senior pastor at Chamblee First United Methodist Church, will deliver the baccalaureate address at 5 p.m. May 19 at LaGrange First United Methodist Church.

Story was born in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Harlem, Georgia. After graduating from Harlem High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree at LaGrange College.

While attending LaGrange, he served as treasurer of the Student Government Association, president of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, president of the Interfraternity Council and treasurer of Circle K service organization. He participated in the Georgia Legislative Intern Program and was named Outstanding Male Freshman and to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

Judge Story was awarded the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law and was a member of the 1977 team in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Following law school, he was a partner in the Gainesville law firm of Hulsey, Oliver and Mahar. He also served as a Special Assistant Attorney General representing the State of Georgia in child support and custody cases. From 1985-1986, he served as Juvenile Court Judge of Hall County.

In 1986, Judge Story was appointed judge of the Superior Courts for the Northeastern Circuit of Georgia by Gov. Joe Frank Harris and served for three subsequent terms as the Administrative Judge for the Ninth Judicial District of Georgia, and on the Judicial Council of Georgia and the Georgia Courts Automation Commission.

He was a member of the executive committee of the Council of Superior Court Judges and chaired the Council’s Benchbook and Legislation Committees. Judge Story served as the editor of the Superior Court Benchbook published in 1995 and in 1996.

He has been Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia since February 1998. He was on the committee on federal-state jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States for seven years and its chair for four years.

In 2016, he was one of five federal judges from the United States invited by Pope Francis to attend the Judges’ Summit Against Human Trafficking and Organized Crime at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican. The summit included judges and prosecutors from 26 countries.

Judge Story is a member of Gainesville First United Methodist Church where he has served as lay leader and as chair of the administrative board and Council on Ministries. He has also been active in the United Way, Girls Club, Chamber of Commerce, Jaycees and Rotary.

In 1985, he was named Gainesville-Hall County Young Man of the Year, and was named by the Georgia Jaycees as one of Five Outstanding Young Georgians in 1987. Judge Story served on the Board of Trustees of LaGrange College from 2003-2011, and as the board’s Vice-Chair from 2007-2011.

He is a member of the Joseph Henry Lumpkin Inn of Court and served as its president from 2005-2016. He is also a member of the E. Wycliffe Orr Sr. Inn of Court in Gainesville.

Judge Story is married to Nancy Duffey Story ’75, and they have three children, Laura Story Droms, Elizabeth Ruth Story ’07 and William Richard Story; and two grandchildren.

Stowe Dr. Stowe earned an associate degree in nursing from DeKalb College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from New York University. She served as a nurse for many years before moving into pastoral ministry.

She received her master of divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and doctor of divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago.

She served as youth minister and associate pastor at Covington First United Methodist Church, senior pastor at Franklin FUMC and senior pastor at Inman FUMC. This summer she will become senior pastor at Lawrenceville FUMC, one of the 20 largest churches in the conference. When she arrives, it will have the highest worship attendance of a church with a woman as senior pastor in the conference. 

She worked with the theology and doctrine committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry for eight years and has appeared on the Day One podcast, a prestigious preaching series.

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