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UT Austin Law School Foundation Board of Trusteeselects Reasoner to serve as its new president

The fall 1997 meeting of The University of Texas at Austin Law School Foundation Board of Trustees marked a change in the leadership of the board.

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AUSTIN, Texas — The fall 1997 meeting of The University of Texas at Austin Law School Foundation Board of Trustees marked a change in the leadership of the board.

Harry M. Reasoner, a 1962 graduate of the UT Austin School of Law, has been elected to serve as president of the foundation. Reasoner, managing partner of Vinson & Elkins in Houston, is a life member of the board of trustees and has served as its vice president since 1993. He is a UT Law Chancellor and member of the Order of the Coif. The boardÌs fall meeting was Oct. 24 in Austin.

Reasoner has served his alma mater in many capacities, including as past president of the Law Alumni Association, as a visiting law school professor, and as lead counsel representing the law school in the Hopwood case involving affirmative action. He also is a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee and has served as chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. In 1995, Reasoner was selected as the Law Alumni AssociationÌs Distinguished Alumnus for Community Service. In 1997, he was named recipient of The University of Texas at Austin Distinguished Alumnus award.

Reasoner will replace Morris Atlas, whose term as president of the board of trustees concludes this year.

Atlas, who has served on the board since 1978, was elected as a life member of the trustees in 1990, and served as president from 1993 to 1997. A 1950 graduate of the law school, Atlas is founding and managing partner of Atlas & Hall in McAllen. He has served the state of Texas in numerous positions, including as chairman of the board of regents of Pan American University (now The University of Texas-Pan American), special counsel to the Texas Senate on Civil Justice Reform, special counsel to the Texas Senate on WorkersÌ Compensation, and as a member of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. In 1993, Atlas was awarded The University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus award. He was named the Law Alumni AssociationÌs Distinguished Alumnus in 1997.

Another change on the board includes the election of David J. Beck, a 1965 graduate of the law school, to serve as vice-president. Beck, who is founding partner of the Houston law firm of Beck, Redden and Secrest, also is a life member of the Law School Foundation Board of Trustees. Beck received the Law School Faculty Service award in 1985, and was named honorary barrister of the law school’s Board of Advocates in 1995. He served as International Association of Defense Council president in 1991-92 and State Bar of Texas president 1995-96.

“If evidence were ever needed that the law school is blessed, it has been dramatically provided by the current transition in leadership. Morris Atlas has been a devoted and talented shepherd of the foundation and the enormous role it plays in the well-being of the school,” said UT School of Law Dean M. Michael Sharlot. “We regret, but do not begrudge, his well-earned departure from the presidency because his successor, Harry Reasoner, has demonstrated a similar commitment to the goals of the school and brings similar extraordinary talent and energy to their achievement.

“David Beck has proven his devotion and acumen many times. Like Morris and Harry, he has been able to find time in the daunting schedule of an absolutely first class lawyer to pursue the benefit of the school. His work as chair of the committee to raise Endowed Presidential Scholarships stands at the pinnacle of fund-raising at this University. Although the target kept moving away from him, the fact that we have more than 250 Endowed Presidential Scholarships speaks of his skill and tenacity. As chair of the foundation’s development committee, he has shown similar creativity and commitment. We are enormously gratified by the new leadership team.”For additional information, contact Assistant Dean Juan Zabala, (512) 232-1117.