he Honorable Louis Guirola, Jr., ’73, Chief
United States District Judge for the Southern
District of Mississippi, was born in Baltimore,
Maryland, as a first generation Cuban
American. The family moved to Mississippi when his
father’s job search led the family to Pascagoula from
Guirola chose Carey in part because of its
proximity to home but mainly because of the intimate
atmosphere fostered by the school’s small size.
He found it easy to meet people at Carey. Guirola
majored in social science and minored in educational
psychology. He also played basketball and baseball in
college and was co-captain of the baseball team. He
was vice president of the Mississippi Student Education
Association while a student here and later served as
president of the William Carey College Coast Alumni
Association. He was recognized as the Distinguished
Alumnus of the Year in 2004. While studying law at
the University of Mississippi, he served as clerk of Phi
Delta Phi Legal Fraternity and as chairman of Trial
Division of the Moot Court Board. He earned the Juris
Doctorate from the University of Mississippi in 1979,
graduating 10th in the class.
He is thankful that Carey provided him with a
“blue-ribbon” education and praises the school’s
academic distinction. Guirola says, “Carey not only
prepared me well for law school and life, it gave me
the opportunity to develop relationships, taught me to
communicate and relate, and to live and get along.”
The judge’s hero at Carey was Dr. Milton Wheeler.
Guirola explains that Dr. Wheeler was easy to listen to
and always gave good advice to students.
Before becoming a judge, Guirola worked as an
agent for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and as
the captain of the Criminal Investigation Department
in Harrison County. Guirola has experience as adjunct
professor of history at William Carey and criminal
justice at USM. He has also served as guest lecturer
and instructor for various conferences both at home
and abroad.
Judge Guirola’s advice to today’s students
emphasizes communication skills. He exhorts students
to learn to excel at oral and written communication.
“Read the classics,” he advises, “for there is no better
way to understand human behavior. We must not
allow the ability to express ideas coherently fall to the
wayside in this technologically-focused world.” He
encourages students to study and learn, of course, but
also to savor this time of life.
Judge Guirola has been married for 31 years and
has three adult daughters. The oldest earned the
Master of Arts from USM this year, the second is a
student at Gulf Coast Community College, and the
youngest is a junior at Ole Miss.
Alumni Spotlight:
Chief Justice
Louis Guirola
Spring 2013 |
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