Remembering Audrey Holland

Sept. 25, 2023

We were saddened by the loss of Professor Emerita Audrey Holland, a true legend in our field, and someone who had an enormous impact on the University of Arizona. Dr. Holland joined our faculty in 1991 as Professor and Department Head. Her legacy includes mentoring many of the leading researchers and educators in the field of aphasiology today and developing a vibrant campus-based aphasia group program. She was witty, candid, compassionate, and had a profound positive impact on people who were lucky enough to know her. We share her obituary below. 

Audrey L. Holland died in August 2023, in Tucson Arizona.  She enjoyed a long life and satisfying career in Speech-Language Pathology.  She earned her undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. degrees from her cherished Alma Mater, the University of Pittsburgh, and went on to enjoy a well-rounded career as a clinician, researcher, and teacher, first at Emerson College, Boston, then at the University of Pittsburgh, in both the Department of Speech, then in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the Departments of Psychiatry and Otolaryngology in the School of Medicine.  She then moved to the Southwest, where she served as a faculty member and Chair in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She retired as Regents’ Professor there in the 2010. 

Although her academic interests spanned the disciplines of neuroscience, neurolinguistics, and speech and language sciences, her major contributions centered in language disorders of children and adults, most specifically adult aphasia. She loved research, teaching, and clinical practice, authoring or co-authoring over 200 research articles, books, and tests, almost all of which were stimulated by the individuals with aphasia whom she continued to treat throughout most of her career.  Her work was honored by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Rehabilitation Sciences with a Distinguished Alumna Award and a 225th Anniversary Medallion Award recognizing “alumni who have built better lives through their life’s work”.   

Her contributions have also been recognized by professional and service organizations, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which awarded her with its Honors; the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, and with the Kanawa Award for lifetime achievements in publication.  She has also been honored by the National Aphasia Association and by Aphasia Access, the country’s two most prominent aphasia advocacy groups.  Most recently she was awarded the Robin Tavistock Award in recognition of her inspirational contribution to the field of aphasia. 

Her marriage to James G. Holland ended in divorce, but produced her two beloved children, Benjamin, who died in 1998, and Katherine Holland Bouley, M.D. Ph.D., Professor of Child Neurology at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine.  She subsequently married Oscar M. Reinmuth, M.D., former Chair of the Department of Neurology, at the University of Pittsburgh, who preceded her in death in 2011.  She has been blessed with three marvelous grandchildren -- Adrian Nez, Thomas Bouley, and Anne Bouley -- who filled her life with joy.   

Audrey Holland enjoyed her life to its fullest -- her profession and the students she has influenced, politics, travels, music, literature and films, animals (especially cats although also some significant dogs and a lot of wildlife have also been important).  Contributions in her honor can be sent to various organizations representing her passions: the University of Pittsburgh (Audrey Holland Endowed Student Research Award); the University of Arizona (Holland Endowment Award); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, Rockville, MD; the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Pittsburgh, PA; the National Wildlife Federation; your favorite aphasia center or animal shelter; and the Equal Justice Initiative, Montgomery, AL.  

If you would like to honor Dr. Holland with a gift to the University of Arizona, you can use the following link:  Using the dropdown menu, please select “Audrey Holland Scholarship Endowment”.