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May 21, 2007

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or Event Contact: Rey Ramos, Asst. Dean for Student Affairs, UT Law, (512) 232-1313.

The Honorable Ron Kirk, ’79, Delivered Keynote Address at Sunflower Ceremony on May 19

AUSTIN, Texas—The Honorable Ron Kirk, a law partner at Vinson & Elkins in Dallas, was the keynote speaker at The University of Texas School of Law’s 2007 Sunflower Ceremony on Saturday, May 19, at 3:30 p.m. in the Frank Erwin, Jr., Special Events Center. Kirk’s commencement address can be viewed at

Kirk’s principal area of practice is public finance and public policy. A 1979 graduate of UT Law, Kirk served as mayor of Dallas from 1995 until 2001, and in 1994, he served as the Texas Secretary of State. He served as chair of the Texas General Services Commission from 1991 to 1993.

Kirk has over 20 years of experience as legislative counsel for numerous public and private entities. He is a former Dallas Assistant City Attorney for Governmental Relations and served as aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen.

Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors for Brinker International, Dean Foods Co. and PetsMart Inc., and he is a National Trustee for the March of Dimes. He has been a board member of more than a dozen prestigious organizations, including the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, the State Fair of Texas, and the Museum of African-American Life and Culture. Kirk is also a trustee of The University of Texas Law School Foundation.

Kirk received the Austin College Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and the Young Texas Ex Award from The University of Texas at Austin in 1995. He is also the 1996 recipient of the Law School’s Honorary Order of the Coif award and the Texas Exes’ 2001 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

He and his wife, Matrice, are active in the St. Luke Community United Methodist Church in Dallas. They have two daughters, Elizabeth Alexandra and Catherine Victoria.

Following the Sunflower Ceremony, a reception for UT Law graduates and their guests was held in the Law School’s Susman Godfrey Atrium.

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Ron Kirk currently serves as United States Trade Representative: