News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole (202) 478-4665


Washington, D.C.—The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has named  Brenda J. Hollis, an international criminal prosecutor and human rights expert who has assisted victims of international crimes, the 2018 recipient of AASCU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Hollis received her B.A. in 1968 from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio.  

“BGSU is so proud that Dr. Brenda Hollis has been selected for AASCU’s 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award,” says BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “A 1968 graduate of BGSU, she’s had a significant impact on the public through her service in the U.S. Air Force and as lead prosecutor in several historic war crime cases. Her legal work has shaped the global political stage for generations.”

Hollis has served as Prosecutor of the Residual Special Court for Sierra Leone since January 2014— appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations—and also acts as Reserve International Co-Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. In addition, she is a member of the Advisory Board of the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, and from 2001 to 2007, Hollis was an expert legal consultant on international criminal law and procedure. During this period, she trained judges, prosecutors and investigators at courts and international tribunals in Indonesia, Iraq and Cambodia. She also assisted victims of international crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Colombia to prepare submissions requesting investigations by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. 

Hollis held various legal positions in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) from 1994 to 2001, including serving as lead counsel in a number of historic prosecutions. She was co-counsel in the Tadić case, the first litigated case in an international tribunal since Nuremberg; led the reopening of the case in which rape was charged as torture; and was lead counsel in the preparation of the case against former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Hollis is a former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer and retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of colonel.

For more than four decades, AASCU’s Distinguished Alumnus Award has been presented to an individual who has achieved acclaim in her or his field and who has made a significant contribution to the public, intellectual or cultural life of the nation. Through this award, AASCU directs national attention to the value of society’s investment in America’s state colleges and universities. Hollis will be presented with this award during AASCU’s 2018 Annual Meeting on Oct. 28; she joins a long list of past honorees, including President Lyndon Johnson, who was the first to receive the award in 1972.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities
is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise of Opportunities for All.