Memory Hold The Door

The Honorable Jean Galloway Bissell (1936–1990)

The Honorable Jean Galloway Bissell (1936–1990) Jean Galloway Bissell from the 1958 Garnet & Black yearbook

Born Due West, daughter of Robert S. and Clara Agnew Galloway. University of S.C. BS, Phi Beta Kappa, 1956, LL.B. 1958, graduating first in her class. Associate Editor, Business Manager, South Carolina Law Review, 1957–58. Admitted to Bar 1958. Married Gregg C. Bissell. Practiced Haynsworth, Perry, Bryant, Marion & Johnstone, Greenville, S.C. 1958–71; McKay, Sherrill, Walker, Townsend & Wilkins, Columbia, 1971–76. Later launched career in banking; accepted position as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of South Carolina National Bank. Became Executive Vice President (1980–81) and Vice Chairman, (1981–84). Member, South Carolina and American Bar Associations. Pro Bono activities included relationships with Erskine College, The South Carolina State Library, and The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. In 1984, she became the first female South Carolinian to be appointed to a Federal Judgeship. Appointment was to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Distinguished herself with grace and dignity on the Bench. She set the standards high and was a role model, particularly for female lawyers entering practice during later years. The outstanding judicial legacy which she leaves will serve as a model of excellence for generations of upcoming young attorneys during the years ahead.

  • “On the celebration of Freedom’s birth,” a lecture given during the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution by Jean Galloway Bissell, recorded on September 16, 1987, at the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. [MP3]