In Memoriam: Charles P. Roland, emeritus professor of History, University of Kentucky

Randolph Hollingsworth (she/her) Discussion

Republished by permission and on behalf of Dr. Phil Harling.

It is with great sadness that I report to you the passing of Charles P. Roland, emeritus professor of History, on April 12, 2022, at the age of 104. An esteemed University of Kentucky faculty member for over 18 years, Dr. Roland was a distinguished scholar, beloved and talented teacher, and decorated World War II soldier.

Born in Maury City, Tennessee in 1918, Dr. Roland completed his bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University in 1938, studying under poet John Crowe Ransom. He served in the United States Army during World War II and was quickly raised in the ranks. A captain in the 99th Infantry Division in the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany, Dr. Roland was awarded the Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in recognition of his sacrifice and bravery. He went on to receive his master's degree from George Washington University and a doctorate in history from Louisiana State University and taught at Tulane University before joining UK in 1970.

Authoring many leading books on the American South and the Civil War, Dr. Roland won many accolades and professional appointments, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and visiting professorships and lectureships at the University of Alabama, West Point, Army War College, and the Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute at Middelburg in the Netherlands. He served in several historical societies, including the Louisiana Historical Association, Southern Historical Association, Center for the Study of Southern History and Culture, and the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee. Even with all these accomplishments, Dr. Roland was most passionate about teaching and inspiring the next generation of scholars, often incorporating humor and his battlefield experiences in his engaging lectures. Dr. Roland retired from UK in 1988 but remained an active author, editor, and lecturer into his 90s.

Upon his retirement, the Department of History established the Charles P. Roland Fellowship to support outstanding UK students in the Department who are pursuing research interests in American history, especially the history of the Civil War, race relations, and the American South. Memorial gifts to the Fund can be made online here (be sure to indicate "Roland Fellowship") or mailed to UK Philanthropy, PO Box 23552, Lexington, KY 40523.

Dr. Roland leaves behind a legacy of intellectual generosity and professional rigor and will be greatly missed.

Phil Harling
Professor of History and Chair
University of Kentucky