Since 1912, Chancellors has been the Law School’s most prestigious honor society, recognizing the sixteen law students who have achieved the highest grade point averages in their class through their second year. The society exists only at the University of Texas Law School and is more selective than national programs such as the Order of the Coif. Many of the Law School’s most prominent alumni were Chancellors, including litigators Stephen D. Susman, ’65, and Harry M. Reasoner, ’62; politicians Lloyd Doggett, ’70, and Ralph Yarborough, ’27; UT Law School Dean W. Page Keeton, ’31, and Stanford Law School Dean Charles Meyers, ’49; and U.S. Courts of Appeal Judge Diane Wood, ’75.
David Anderson, ’72, Fred & Emily Marshall Wulff Centennial Chair in Law and faculty advisor to the Chancellors, said the society is the Law School’s distinctive way of recognizing its finest students. “Through one hundred years, the Chancellors organization has nurtured the Law School’s tradition of excellence,” Anderson said. “Chancellors recognizes the very pinnacle of academic achievement: membership requires a grade point average of very close to 4.0.”
The Chancellors with the four highest grade point averages are officers of the society for their year: Grand Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Clerk, and Keeper of the Peregrinus. The rest are Chancellors-at-Large. In the case of a tie in grade-point average, more than sixteen students can become Chancellors, and more than one student can hold an officer’s title.
During the yearly installation ceremony, new Chancellors sign their names and home towns in the Chancellors book, which has been in use since 1929 and was restored in 1979 and 2006 with the assistance of a group of Chancellors alumni. In 2012 Chancellors celebrated their 100th anniversary with a gala event held in Austin.
Image taken from a historic print block found in the Law School’s archives.