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Rex G. Baker IV, left, and Rex G. Baker III, right, flank a family portrait with all four generations of Rex G. Bakers
Photo credit: Matthew Montemayor
At a Law School dinner earlier this year, Rex G. Baker, II, Class of 1977 and partner in the law firm of Baker & Associates in Dripping Springs, Texas, was talking to Dean Larry Sager about the School and its needs. One of those needs—financial support for law students— got Baker to thinking, and what came from that initial and subsequent conversations with the dean and others at the Law School is a new and unique student scholarship and mentoring program. Beginning in the fall of 2008, Baker will pay the costs of tuition and fees for an entering law student and will continue that support for the full three years of this Baker Scholar’s legal education. The student will be selected by the dean and the award will be based on need. In addition, Baker will make himself available as a mentor to the selected student, offering advice and counsel based on his own experiences as a student and as a practicing attorney “on the other side” of law school. This scholarship marks a departure from traditional student scholarships, which are typically created by endowment. Baker, and other alumni who follow his example, will contribute current-use dollars annually to cover the student’s tuition and fees.
“One of the great benefits of being dean is having the opportunity to get to know so many of our alumni,” said Sager. “Their respect for and devotion to this institution—their law school—is unlike that of any other school with which I’ve been associated. Rex Baker’s imaginative idea and generous gift that inaugurates our new student sponsorship program is a magnificent example of the sense of community and responsibility shared by all who are a part of the UT Law family. I am deeply grateful to Rex for what he’s doing, and all of us here are honored that this first sponsored scholarship will bear the Baker family name—a family that has been associated with UT Law School for nearly 100 years.”
To date, four generations of Bakers— to be more specific, Rex G. Bakers—have studied law at the University of Texas. Baker’s grandfather and father were UT Law graduates, and his son, Rex, IV, will begin his third year of law school this fall, and is slated for graduation in 2009. The Baker family generosity to the Law School crosses the generations, too. Rex, Sr. was a 1917 graduate of UT Law and practiced in Houston as vice president and general counsel of Humble Oil. He and his wife, Edna, established more than forty-five years ago one of the first endowed professorships at UT Law School, the Rex G. Baker and Edna Heflin Baker Professorship in Constitutional Law. Rex, Jr., who graduated from UT Law in 1947, and who also practiced law in Houston, endowed the Rex G. Baker Centennial Chair in Natural Resources Law together with Rex, Sr. and Rex, II. Baker’s great-uncle, Hines Baker, also graduated from Texas in 1917 and endowed the Hines H. Baker and Thelma Kelley Baker Research Chair in Law.
In explaining his interest in these sponsored scholarships, Baker noted his family’s understanding of the central importance of UT Law School to their family’s accomplishments. “My grandfather and father taught me early on that the education they received from UT Law School was directly responsible for their successes in business and law. I know that this is true for me also,” said Baker. “People before us made a firstclass legal education at Texas a bargain, and we would like to make it a bargain for those who come after us.”
The University of Texas School of Law is proud to claim the Baker family as part of its larger family and is grateful to them for their long legacy of service to the legal profession and society, and support of their law school.