The University of Texas Law School Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports the law school and oversees the management of its invested endowed funds, has announced a number of exciting changes to the leadership and membership ranks of its board of trustees for the 2023-24 year. The changes were announced by outgoing chair S. Jack Balagia ’76 and the foundation’s executive director, Susan Hartenstein.
“I have been tremendously honored to serve this board as chair for four years and I step down knowing we are in excellent, capable hands as we enter a new era in our leadership,” says Balagia, who has been a member of the foundation board since 2010 and now becomes a senior trustee.
Susan L. Blount ’81 is the new chair, effective Sept. 1, 2023, after serving as vice chair for administration since 2019.
Blount is a member of the executive committee of the Center for Women in Law. From 2005 to 2015, she served as general counsel of Prudential Financial Inc., where she was responsible for the company’s 700-person global law, compliance, business ethics and external affairs organization.
“Jack has been a superb leader of the foundation and his are big shoes to fill,” says Blount. “He took a thoughtful and strategic approach to the many challenges the foundation and school faced during the pandemic, as well the extraordinary opportunities that presented themselves with the decanal transition of 2022.”
Adds Blount, “We are all thankful for Jack and glad to know he is staying around as senior trustee!”
In addition, Del Williams ’85 moves into the position of vice chair for administration after serving as the board’s vice chair for development for four years, and Hilda C. Galvan ’93 joins the officer trio as vice chair for development from her role as nominating committee chair.
Williams is general counsel of Hillwood, a Perot company, and previously he served as general counsel and chief administrative officer of Perot Systems Corp. Galvan, currently partner-in-charge of the Dallas office of Jones Day, also is the chair of Texas Women’s Foundation, one of the largest women’s funds in the world.
In addition to its new officers, the foundation elected seven new trustees. They are:
- Audrey T. Andrews ’91, a legal strategist and compliance expert known for guiding companies in transition. She worked for more than two decades at Tenet Healthcare Corp.
- R. Mick Cantu ’91, the executive vice president, chief legal officer, and business and development officer for the Methodist Hospital System. Previously he was commissioner for the Texas Real Estate Commission and a partner at Vinson & Elkins LLP.
- Demetrius G. McDaniel ’90, regional operating shareholder of Texas and co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Government Law & Policy Practice. He also is the immediate past president of the Texas Law Alumni Association executive committee.
- Jaime A. Saenz ’86, a partner at Colvin, Saenz, Rodriguez & Kennamer LLP in Brownsville, Texas. He entered private practice in 1988 representing clients in the defense of personal injury litigation and has tried more than 120 civil cases to verdict.
- Karen P. Seymour ’86, a partner of Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City and a member of the management committee where her multidisciplinary practice focuses on corporate governance, crisis management, complex commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and internal investigations.
- Angela B. Styles ’94, a partner in Akin Gump’s Washington, D.C., office and a recognized leader in government contracts and grants law.
The foundation also elected Duke R. Ligon ’69, a former trustee with a long record of distinguished service to the board, as a senior trustee. Ligon is an attorney, as well as the owner and manager of Mekusukey Oil Co. LLC.
In addition to Ligon and Balagia, a number of current board members are moving into senior trustee roles. They are: Scott J. Atlas ’75, Alfred H. Bennett ’91, Stephen L. Burns ’90, John A. Guerra ’88, Tracey A. Kennedy ’90, and Wilson S. Neely ’82.
“We are excited to have these new trustees join the foundation and appreciate their willingness to serve,” says Hartenstein. “The foundation and the school will benefit tremendously from their experience and insights as we collaborate with Dean Bobby Chesney on his vision for being the nation’s premier public law school and work on goals for the school’s sesquicentennial anniversary in 2033.”
The Law School Foundation came into being in 1952, thanks to the initiative of then-dean Page Keeton, who saw the need for Texas, as a public institution, to raise private funds to remain competitive with the top private law schools of the northeast. The foundation has been a durable and indispensable partner to the law school ever since, and many of Texas Law’s most distinguished alumni have served among its ranks. From humble beginnings, the foundation now manages an endowment of more than $250 million, which ranks as one of the largest law school endowments in America.