Students Inducted into Chancellors Honor Society  

Seventeen members of the class of 2024 have been inducted into the Chancellors Society, Texas Law’s most prestigious honor society.   

The students were recognized as chancellors on Jan. 19 for earning the highest GPAs in their class, representing an elite group who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement. The induction ceremony was held in the law school’s Sheffield Massey Room, as family members, friends, and faculty members gathered to celebrate this year’s honorees. Luke Ledbetter ’06, president and CEO of Kestrel Group, and a Vice Chancellor for his class, was the guest speaker.  

Seventeen members of the class of 2024 inducted into the Chancellors Society
Pictured (front row, from left): Marie Baldwin, Alexandra Curren, Kelsey Anderson, Katie Holmes, Samantha Schmidt, Catherine Cozzolino, Anne Fogel, Daniel Dreyfus; (back row, from left): Maggie Shirley, Liam Underwood, Miles Matey, Samuel Hilliard, Andrew MacPhail, David Hutchinson, Austin Lesch, HR Huber-Rodriguez, Anna Biltz

Law school leaders were in attendance to recognize the students’ accomplishment, including Dean Bobby Chesney, Associate Dean Susan C. Morse, and Prof. John Dzienkowski, who was a Chancellor for the Class of 1983. 

“The Texas Law community is incredibly proud of this group of students,” says Dean Bobby Chesney. “Grades are certainly not the only measure of law school success, but the investment these newest chancellors have made to do their best and to make the most of their opportunities here matters a great deal. This achievement puts these students in the company of some of our most successful alumni.”  

According to the original charter of the society, “The purpose of the order of chancellors is to honor, and reward by election, those law students who, by consistent scholarship, ability, and achievement have shown themselves likely to succeed and become a credit to their profession.” 

The chancellors with the highest GPAs are made officers of the society for that year, with distinctive titles: grand chancellor, vice chancellor, clerk, and keeper of the peregrinus, respectively. The other 12 inductees hold the title of chancellors-at-Large. This year the grand chancellor position is held jointly by David Hutchison and Samantha Schmidt. It is the first tie for the grand chancellor title since 2013, when Andrew Ingram and Ross MacDonald each earned the distinction. 

“I am incredibly grateful for this honor and deeply appreciate the fact that Texas Law’s supportive environment made it possible for me to succeed academically,” says Schmidt in an email. “I feel so fortunate to have found the most wonderful friends and professors here at Texas Law, and I look forward to a (hopefully) long career as a forever Longhorn!”  

Hutchinson also is thankful for the opportunities he has received at Texas Law. “I am so grateful for my professors and my study partners. There’s no way I could have made it through law school without their intelligence, kindness, and support. Most importantly, I am grateful to God for his gracious provision in my life. This award is all grace.” 

The chancellors for the Class of 2024 are:  

Grand Chancellors
David Hutchison, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 
Samantha Merrill Schmidt, Austin, Texas 

Vice Chancellor
Austin Jeremy Lesch, Bethesda, Maryland  

Samuel Wiman Hilliard, Lawton, Oklahoma  

Keeper of the Peregrinus
Maggie May Shirley, Corpus Christi, Texas 

Kelsey Nicole Anderson, California, Maryland 
Marie Clark Baldwin, Dallas
Anna Celeste Biltz, Corsicana, Texas
Catherine Soltis Cozzolino, Farmington Hill, Michigan 
Alexandra Rae Curren, McKinney, Texas
Daniel Bagot Dreyfus, Houston, Texas
Annie Fogel, Houston, Texas
Katie Jane Holmes, Austin, Texas
HR Huber-Rodriguez, Davis, California 
Andrew Donald MacPhail, Denver, Colorado 
Miles Benjamin Matey, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California 
Liam Michael Underwood, Panama City Beach, Florida  

At this year’s ceremony, each student signed their name in the Chancellors Book, a tradition at every chancellors installation in Texas Law history. This ledger holds the name, signature, and hometown of every chancellor starting with K. Bettis, the first chancellor installed in 1912, when the society was founded. (In the society’s first decade, students were recorded by their first initial and last name only.) The Chancellors Book, which has been in use since 1929, is housed in the Tarlton Law Library’s rare books room.   

Chancellors Society members include many distinguished alumni who are or were leaders of the legal profession. Former chancellors include: litigators Stephen D. Susman ’65 and Harry M. Reasoner ’62; politicians Congressman Lloyd Doggett ’70 and Ralph Yarborough ’27; former Texas Law Dean W. Page Keeton ’31 and former Stanford Law School Dean Charles Meyer ’49; and Senior Judge of the U.S. Courts of Appeals and Director of the American Law Institute Diane Wood ’75.    

In addition, many current Texas Law alumni faculty members were honored as chancellors, including David Anderson ’71, Kamela Bridges ’91, Edward Dawson ’01, Lori Mason ’94, Thomas McGarity ’74, Heather Way ’96 (grand chancellor), and Jay Westbrook ’68, as well as adjunct professors Brian Rider ’72 and Stacy Rogers Sharp ’06.  

For additional information on the history of the honor society, including archival photographs and lists of former classes, visit the Chancellors webpage 

Category: Law School News, Student Life