Alumni Association Timeline
Founded in 1923 by the YMCA, South Texas School of Law (as it was originally named) graduated its first class—consisting of 11 students—on June 1, 1927. Two months later, on August 8, the South Texas Ex-Students Association (later to be known as the Alumni Association) was established "to promote the general welfare and interest" of the law school.
In response to the increasing number of students graduating from South Texas, the Ex-Students Association incorporated itself as a Texas corporation. By the mid-1950s, the association was holding monthly luncheon meetings and publishing a newsletter known as the South Texan.
South Texas ended its longtime association with the Y and became a private, independent law school. The Ex-Students Association established the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award; its first recipient was William A. Miller Jr. '36.
The Ex-Students Association reorganized itself and became the Alumni Association, the name that it goes by today. The law school also began publishing Quarterly, which originated as an alumni newsletter and eventually became the alumni magazine.
The Alumni Association established its first state chapter, in Florida, and named Jane F. Yount '58 as the law school's first Distinguished Alumna of the Year.
In April, the Alumni Association became chartered with the Texas secretary of state as a nonprofit charitable educational corporation, which it remains today. Later that year, the group published its first Alumni Directory.
Seven months before Dean Garland R. Walker's death, the law school completed its 11-story Tower building. Later that year, the Alumni Association honored Dean Walker by establishing the Garland R. Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides annual scholarships to students based on merit and need.
Over one-third of all lawyers in Harris County were by now South Texas alumni. As a means of keeping these graduates, and their more far-flung classmates, up to date on alumni news, the Alumni Association launched Postscripts, a newsletter that was replaced in 2006 by Alumni e-news, an online newsletter distributed via email.
In April, the Alumni Association, in partnership with the law school, inaugurated what was to become a signature event for 14 years: the gala. Funds from the event helped support the Garland R. Walker Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Lizabeth Parham Matthews Scholarship Fund, and in 2006 and 2007 supported the law school's Annual Fund.
South Texas launched its Online Alumni Community with gifts from the Class of 2001 and Myra A. Wilson '01. This handy electronic network enabled alumni to create their own personal profiles; access the profiles of other alumni; receive the latest alumni news, in the Class Notes section; obtain information on upcoming Law School events and view photos of past events; search the Alumni Directory; and make a gift to the Law School.
Also in 2006, South Texas began publishing Alumni e-news, an online newsletter providing articles about noteworthy achievements by alumni, students, and faculty, as well as news about the law school.
The Alumni Association Board of Directors created a strategic plan and restructured into three standing committees: Admissions, Development/Fundraising, and Student/Alumni. The committees provide an opportunity for a broader base of alumni to get involved in the work of the Alumni Association.
The South Texas alumni magazine received a new look as it changed its name from Quarterly to In Re.
In October, the Alumni Association hosted its first "Launching a Law Practice" seminar. This valuable program, now a combined effort with the Career Resources Center entitled "Starting a Solo Practice," offers detailed information and advice to alumni who are thinking about going solo.
The Young Alumni Council, consisting of representatives from the law school's ten most recent graduating classes, was established in the summer. Members of the council provide helpful feedback to the law school about young alumni programming and alumni experiences in general.
In August, the council hosted the law school's first Young Alumni Happy Hour, an event that provides recent graduates with the opportunity to network and socialize with their fellow alumni. The popular happy hours have been held regularly ever since.
In April, the law school launched its annual Awards Gala to recognize outstanding alumni contribution's to the law school and the legal community. Don Jordan '69 received the Dean's Medal and three inspiring alumni received Alumni Impact Awards: Gregory Bopp '95, Mitchell Katine '85, and Natalie Koehler '02.
In September, the Alumni Association Board of Directors voted to transfer the scholarship funds from a separate investment account to the law school to alleviate tax issues and consolidate fundraising efforts.
South Texas College of Law changes its name to Houston College of Law. The number of alumni grew to over 15,000. Graduates hail from all 50 states as well as from other countries throughout the world.