2015 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

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Role models who give us Reasons to Believe in the power of education

Donald R. Holland, Sr.

Donald R. Holland SrWyandotte High School, 1973

Other Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Attended: Kealing Elementary, Stowe Elementary, Hawthorne Elementary, Northwest Junior High.

When Donald Holland spent three years as a safety patrol officer at Hawthorne Elementary School, he didn’t realize that he was preparing for his future.

Today, he has a fulfilling and prosperous career with the University of Kansas Police Department. He has spent 37 years with the department, starting as an officer and then moving up the ranks to detective, sergeant, lieutenant and then to his current rank as division commander over the Investigations, Communications and Records division. His leadership has earned him numerous awards, including five certificates of commendation, a meritorious service award and officer of the year. He likes helping people, and making them feel safe. Serving the community through his work is something he considers a privilege and honor.

Growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, Holland said his teachers instilled in him a love of learning. He has carried that with him throughout his life, always eager to take classes and grow in his field. In 2004, he earned his associate’s degree in criminal justice, and in 2008, he earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“If you don’t learn something new every day then you have wasted your time,” he said. “It keeps your mind fresh.”

Holland also has paid forward the mentoring provided to him by his teachers during high school. New officers who join the KU Police Department look to Holland for guidance and leadership. Many of them have moved up the ranks just like he has.

“I try to motivate them and always encourage them to do their best,” Holland said.

Holland is a member of the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Criminal Justice Association Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the Kansas Peace Officers Association, the FBI-Law Enforcement Executive Development Association and the Kansas City Metro Squad.

He wants today’s students to look for a challenging and rewarding career, not just a job, and to always remember to do the right thing.