Alemán Makes Lasting Impact by Joining Texas Law Legacy Challenge
For Susana Alemán ’84, Texas Law has been a part of her life for four decades and that relationship is alive and well. First as a law student and then as the longtime assistant dean for student affairs, Alemán has made a lasting impact at her alma mater. Recently, she extended that impact by joining the Texas Law Legacy Challenge with a documented new planned gift supporting several key law school initiatives.
‘The gift included the establishment of her legacy endowment – the Dean Alemán Sunflower Lawhorn Scholarship – that will support Mexican-American law students. Alemán’s gifts are part of an initiative between the Texas Exes and the Law School to recruit a diverse class of students and make Texas Law a welcoming place for all. The name of her scholarship stems from her time as assistant dean when from 1984-2006, she personally gathered and distributed sunflowers to graduates for the annual Sunflower Ceremony. As a result of her commitment to that Texas Law tradition, she became known by the nickname, “The Sunflower Lady.”
Alemán’s motivation to lay the foundation for this scholarship was simple. “To me, it’s necessary that all qualified students who want to attend Texas Law should be able to do so,” she said. “It would be a terrible shame if financial obstacles prevented someone from realizing such a dream. It’s the best investment I can make.”
In addition to the legacy endowment, several programs will benefit from her generosity immediately: the Pipeline Program, the Chicano Hispanic Law Student Association, the Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, and general scholarships. The immediate gifts were made with matching funds thanks to a generous grant from the University of Texas Law School Foundation.
Reflecting on her years as assistant dean, Alemán shared, “My most meaningful responsibility as assistant dean was graduation. Certifying the graduates and the Sunflower Ceremony was important to me because it meant that the students had earned their J.D. They had reached their goal after three years of hard work. It was an honor to continue the century-old tradition of picking the wild sunflowers for the law grads.”
Alemán also earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the University of Texas. In addition to her support of Texas Law, she is an active member of the Texas Exes and the UT Hispanic Alumni Network.