From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Holland, James Phillip

(born: December 31, 1934  -  died: March 26, 1998) 

James P. Holland was one of the first African Americans from Kentucky named to West Point Military Academy in 1954. Holland chose to attend Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] instead of West Point. He was 19-years-old when the nomination was made by Republican Senator John Sherman Cooper with a recommendation by Kentucky State College President R. B. Atwood.

Born in Bowling Green, KY, Holland was valedictorian of his graduating class at State Street High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] in 1956 and his master's degree (1958) and PH. D. (1961) in endocrinology from Indiana University. He was a professor of Zoology at Indiana University, where his research explored how reproductive physiology is influenced by thyroid gland activity. The James P. Holland Memorial Lecture Series was established in 2000 at Indiana University; the school also offers the James P. Holland Fellowship in Biology and the James Phillip Holland Award for Exemplary Teaching.

For more see "Senator names first Kentucky Negro to West Point," Jet, 3/25/1954, p. 6 [article available full text at Google Books]; Scientists in the Black Perspective, by H. A. Young and B. H. Young; and John A. Hardin, The Pursuit of Excellence: Kentucky State University, 1886-2020, p. 120.

Kentucky County & Region

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Kentucky Place (Town or City)

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Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Scientists in the black perspective
NKAA Source: Jet (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Pursuit of excellence: Kentucky State University, 1886-2020

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Olive, Lewis Cortez, Jr.
NKAA Entry: Young, Charles D.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Holland, James Phillip,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 4, 2023,

Last modified: 2022-08-29 17:06:10