Senior U.S. District Judge, The Honorable Matthew J. Perry to speak at SC State

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Judge Matthew J. PerryThe Department of Social Sciences at SC State will host guest speaker, The Honorable Matthew J. Perry, Senior U.S. District Judge for the Fourth Circuit Court and SC State alumnus,‘48, during the Social Sciences Speaker’s Forum. The event will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. in the Barbara L. Vaughn Fine Arts Center.

The Social Sciences Speaker’s Forum is an initiative to bring distinguished personalities to SC State to discuss topical issues.


Judge Perry was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina by President Carter in 1979, making him the first African-American to serve on the court. He assumed senior status in October 1995.


Prior to serving on the district court, Perry was appointed by President Ford as a judge on the United States Court of Military Appeals in Washington, D.C., where he was the first African-American from the South appointed to the federal bench.


A Federal Courthouse was constructed in Columbia, S.C. and named the “Matthew J. Perry, Jr. United States Courthouse,” which was dedicated in Judge Perry’s honor on April 23, 2004.

Judge Perry graduated from SC State University in 1948 with a bachelor of arts degree in Business Administration. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from SC State University.

Judge Perry received The Order of the Palmetto by former South Carolina Governor Richard W. Riley in 1986. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from SC State University, the South Carolinian of the Year Award, the William R. Ming Advocacy Award, and the Distinguished Native Son Award-South Carolina Conference of Branches, NAACP.

In 2007, he received the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities Thurgood Marshall Award. During the same year, Judge Perry was inducted in the South Carolina Hall of Fame.

Judge Perry and his wife Hallie Perry reside in Columbia, S.C. They have one son, Michael Perry.

For more information on Judge Perry’s visit and the Social Sciences Speaker’s Forum please contact Dr. Benedict Jua at (803) 536-8969.