Raleigh, N.C. — Smith Moore Leatherwood attorney Sidney S. Eagles Jr. will deliver the keynote address at Barton College's 2015 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 17. In addition to serving on the North Carolina Court of Appeals for more than 20 years, Judge Eagles served on the College's Board of Trustees for 24 years, retiring in fall 2014.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome the Honorable Sidney S. Eagles, Jr., as Barton College's featured speaker for the 113th commencement exercises this spring," shared Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College. "It was a privilege for me to have Judge Eagles, as chair of the College's Board of Trustees, to preside at my inauguration ceremony over a decade ago. And, it is most fitting that he will participate in this last official college ceremony during my presidency at Barton. Judge Eagles continues to enjoy a distinguished law career, and he served this state and its N.C. Court of Appeals for over two decades with great dignity and civility. He also served Barton College and its Board of Trustees with much distinction. As one of my last duties as president, it will be my great honor, on behalf of Barton College, to bestow upon Judge Eagles the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, during this year's commencement exercises."
Judge Eagles joined Smith Moore Leatherwood in 2004 and focuses his practice on appellate litigation, mediation and dispute resolution. Since receiving his license in 1964, he has worked on more than sixty appellate cases in the state appellate courts and has argued cases in both the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. From 1976 to 1981, he was Counsel to the Speaker of the North Carolina House. From 1983 to 2004, he served as Chief Judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals where he wrote more than 900 appellate opinions and presided as a judge on approximately 5,000 appellate cases. Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Eagles served nine years as Special Deputy Attorney General and appeared before the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Eagles has served in distinguished leadership roles for numerous organizations including the American Bar Association, the Executive Club of Raleigh, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Kiwanis Club of Raleigh and more. His professional memberships have extended to the North Carolina State Bar, the North Carolina Association of Defense Lawyers, the Wake County Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys and the 10th Judicial District Bar. As an active member of Hillyer Memorial Christian Church in Raleigh, he has served his church as an elder, deacon, trustee and chair of the board. He also currently serves on Wake Forest University School of Law's Board of Visitors, and has served as past president for the Wake County Bar Association and the 10th Judicial District Bar Association.
Among his many recognitions, Judge Eagles was honored with the James Iredell Award for his service to legal education by the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity chapter at Campbell University. Wake Forest University School of Law named him as the school's 1982 Alumnus of the Year. He was also named the Kiwanian of the Year in 1988. In 2008, he was presented with the Joseph Branch Professionalism Award by the Wake County Bar Association, and in 2013, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.
He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Wake Forest University and a juris doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. He is a retired colonel of the United States Air Force Reserve.