2024 Alumni Award Honorees Announced

Alumni Awards 2024 - six portraits

Six Texas Law alumni are being honored this year for their outstanding professional achievements and many contributions to the legal profession and society. The awardees were announced by Texas Law Alumni Association President Blair Richardson Loocke ’06, who will also preside over the awards ceremony on Nov. 8 at the Thompson Hotel in downtown Austin.

“These awards recognize extraordinary accomplishments by Texas Law alumni in the law and the world,” said Loocke. “Each of our awardees exemplifies the values and excellence of the University of Texas School of Law, and their achievements serve to inspire our community and set a high standard for current and future generations of lawyers.”

These awards recognize extraordinary accomplishments by Texas Law alumni in the law and the world.

Blair Richardson Loocke ’06, Texas Law Alumni Association President

The Alumni Association is presenting its annual slate of four awards—one each for Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Alumnus or Alumna, Community Service, and Outstanding Young Alumnus or Alumna—while this year Dean Bobby Chesney has elected to present a special dean’s honor at the yearly celebration.

The 2024 Alumni Award honorees are The Honorable Royal Furgeson ’67, Lifetime Achievement Award; Arleas Upton Kea ’82, Outstanding Alumna; David Hall ’69, Distinguished Alumnus for Community Service; and Brittany Perkins Castillo ’13, Outstanding Young Alumna.

In addition, Kurt Arnold ’02, and Jason Itkin ’01, partners at the law firm Arnold & Itkin, have been selected by Dean Bobby Chesney to be recognized for their groundbreaking work on behalf of the plaintiff’s bar.

“The Alumni Association is comprised of each Texas Law graduate—that’s more than 25,000 leaders in law, business, and civic affairs,” said Loocke. “These six honorees have made us all tremendously proud. I cannot wait to celebrate them.”

The Honorees

portrait of Royal Furgeson

The Honorable Royal Furgeson ’67
Lifetime Achievement Award

Royal Furgeson is a retired United States district judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. After leaving the bench, he became the founding dean of University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law in June 2013, where he served for five years. He retired in June 2018 as dean emeritus and now practices with the law firm of Furgeson Malouf Law PLLC.

portrait of Arleas Upton Kea

Arleas Upton Kea ’82
Outstanding Alumna

Arleas Upton Kea had a distinguished career with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where she held numerous leadership positions, including chief operating officer. She continues her commitment to service, including as a board member of the Thrivent Funds and a trustee for the University of Texas Law School Foundation. A former president of the Texas Law Alumni Association, she is president-elect of the Texas Exes.

portrait of David Hall

David Hall ’69
Distinguished Alumnus for Community Service

David Hall, who passed away in 2023, dedicated his career to social justice, most notably as the longtime director of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA). His tireless work provided legal services to the underprivileged, championing causes from grand jury discrimination to infrastructure improvements in border communities. His legacy lives on through the countless young lawyers he mentored and the lives he touched through his advocacy.

portrait of Brittany Perkins Castillo

Brittany Perkins Castillo ’13
Outstanding Young Alumna

Brittany Perkins Castillo is the CEO of AshBritt, a leading disaster response and emergency management contractor. Her leadership and advocacy for women in business have garnered national attention. She is also dedicated to educating children about disaster preparedness through initiatives like WTFem.org and her books on disaster resilience.

portrait of Jason Itkin
portrait of Kurt Arnold

Kurt Arnold ’02 and Jason Itkin ’01
Dean’s Honor

Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin have made significant contributions to the legal community through their exceptional legal practice and service to professional organizations, including their foundational role in the new student organization at Texas Law, the Plaintiffs’ Advocacy & Litigation Society.

The Texas Law Alumni Association is one of the largest alumni networks for any law school in the country. The association is led by the Alumni Association Executive Committee and includes alumni representing several regional networks across the United States. Loocke, a community volunteer and leader who also serves as an ex-officio member of the University of Texas Law School Foundation, was a trial partner at Bracewell LLP focused on matters in the energy industry. She began a two-year term as the association’s president in 2023, succeeding immediate past president Demetrius McDaniel ’90. The Honorable Chari Kelly ’02, serves as vice president.

The association’s annual awards dinner is a highlight of the school’s year, featuring tribute videos, heartfelt acceptance speeches, copious laughter, and no small amount of emotion from the winners and their families.

A roster of past winners is a who’s who of Texas Law’s most illustrious alumni, including The Honorable James A. Baker III ’57; Darren Walker ’86; The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison ’67; The Honorable Ron Kirk ’79; The Honorable Diane Wood ’75; Linda Addison ’76; and David Beck ’65, among many other distinguished alumni.

A full list of past Alumni Award winners can be found on the law school’s website.

For information about the 2024 Alumni Awards dinner, please contact alumni@law.utexas.edu.

Category: Alumni News
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