by Cynthia H. Clanton, Director of the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts
The 90-degree temperatures did not deter the many well-wishers celebrating the Honorable Chief Judge Ben W. Studdard’s retirement from the State Court of Henry County. Chief Judge Studdard is a published author, scholar, teacher, and mentor to many judges throughout Georgia.
Former Chief Justice Harold Melton brought chuckles from the crowd, when he described Chief Judge Studdard as “snuggly” as well as scholarly. Justice Melton also read a letter from Chief Justice David Nahmias, Supreme Court of Georgia, outlining Chief Judge Studdard’s many accomplishments, including playing the saxophone and appearing on “Jeopardy!” The Executive Director of the Council of State Court Judges, Bob Bray, stated that Chief Judge Studdard was most proud of his role as father to his beloved daughters, and for being a force for good in so many lives throughout Henry County. Senior Judge James T. Chafin III did an excellent job as MC for the event, that was attended by many officials from Henry County, Mercer Law School professors, a large contingent of state court judges (including the Council of State Court Judges’ President Al Wong), church leaders, former legislators, and appellate court judges, most notably Judge Trea Pipkin, Georgia Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court of Georgia Justice Carla McMillian.
Chief Judge Studdard’s future plans include finding the “perfect beach,” and we wish him luck on that endeavor. Congratulations, Chief Judge Studdard, on a job well done!