Monday, June 9, 2014
UGA law school alumni association presents highest honor to Morehead, Knox
Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law’s alumni association recently presented UGA President Jere W. Morehead and Augusta attorney Wyckliffe “Wyck” A. Knox Jr. with its Distinguished Service Scroll Award.
The awards were presented at an alumni breakfast held in conjunction with the State Bar of Georgia Annual Meeting last week. The award is the Law School Association’s highest honor and recognizes individuals for their exceptional service and dedication to the legal profession and the law school.
Morehead’s award was presented to him by former Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs and Hosch Professor of Law Emeritus Paul M. Kurtz, who taught Morehead as a student at Georgia Law. He described Morehead as a moot court star student, a successful director of the school’s advocacy program and an outstanding university leader.
“In all these positions his devotion to the university and its students, his wise decisions, his role modeling and his inspired and inspiring leadership brought honor to the law school he loves so much,” Kurtz said.
He described Morehead as a man not afraid of change, but willing to embrace it.
“Jere Morehead is a very smart, careful, thoughtful, wise man who has lived a lifetime of achievement,” Kurtz said. “He has made the law school and university a better place for its students, its faculty and its staff.”
“Jere is such a friend to so many people on campus and across the state,” he said. “This state abounds with former students of his who admire, respect and, frankly, adore him.”
Calling the award a “great honor,” Morehead addressed those in attendance.
“I’d just like to thank all of you for your service and your support of the University of Georgia and particularly for the School of Law. It is for that reason that our law school has done so well over the years,” he said. “There are so many individuals here from members of the Supreme Court to distinguished lawyers who have made a difference in this law school.”
“As we are now on the cusp of true greatness as a national law school, the obligation of all of our law school supporters is even greater to sustain what’s been done and to ensure the future will be an even brighter one for the University of Georgia School of Law,” Morehead said.
“I can assure you as president of the University of Georgia that I will continue to support the law school vigorously. We will continue to make the University of Georgia School of Law a priority,” he added.
Morehead became UGA’s 22nd president in 2013, having previously served as the senior vice president for academic affairs and provost since 2010. Morehead is the first UGA alumnus to be named president since Fred Davison in 1967. He is also the second Georgia Law alumnus to serve as the university’s leader.
Morehead remains as the Meigs Professor of Legal Studies in the Terry College of Business, where he has held a faculty appointment since 1986. He is the co-author of several books and book chapters, and he has published scholarly legal articles on topics ranging from export controls to jury selection. He has also served as editor-in-chief and in other editorial board positions for the American Business Law Journal.
He directed the law school’s Advocacy Program from 1986 to 1995, during which time the moot court teams he coached won international, national, regional and state championships, including the National Moot Court Competition and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The school’s overall record during his leadership of the program was 288-103.
He has received several university-wide teaching awards, including the Josiah Meigs Award – UGA’s highest honor for teaching excellence, the Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Teacher of the Year Award in the Terry College of Business and the Lothar Tresp Outstanding Honors Professor Award.
After graduating from Georgia Law, Morehead served as an assistant U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice from 1980 to 1986.
Knox’s award was presented to him by U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of Georgia and 1965 law school alumnus Dudley H. Bowen Jr.
Describing Knox’s life as “so well lived,” Bowen called the award winner “a rare combination of intellect, talent, education and class.”
“He has lived a wonderful life – born into a family that expected a great deal, gave him a great deal by way of nurture and support. And he has, like the good and faithful servant, returned it exceeding tenfold,” he said.
“I am profoundly honored to receive this award and I appreciate it,” Knox said upon receiving the award.
“The University of Georgia School of Law is a special institution in my opinion. Through its doors pass many leaders of the state of Georgia. Not only leaders in the bar, but leaders in business, civic life, politics and government,” he said. “The law school, because of its unique role in shaping our society and its leaders, is deserving of our investment. It is vitally important we keep educating the leaders of this state. … This law school is so valuable to this state.”
Knox served as a member of the law school’s Board of Visitors from 1974 to 1976. He also has served as vice president of UGA’s Alumni Association as well as director of the UGA Athletic Association and as a trustee of the UGA Foundation, where he served as chairman of the finance committee and treasurer for eight years.
Knox has endowed scholarship funds at both the School of Law and the Terry College of Business.
Knox, who presently serves as of counsel at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, was listed in 2008’s The Best Lawyers in America under two listings – business litigation and health care law. He has been recognized in the “Most Influential Georgians” listings appearing in Georgia Trend magazine and, in 2013, Junior Achievement inducted him into its Central Savannah River Area Business Hall of Fame for his pursuits in business and philanthropy.
After graduating from law school in 1964, Knox practiced law in Augusta, and then in 1976 he co-established the firm Knox & Zacks. In 1994, Knox & Zacks merged with the firm Kilpatrick & Cody, which three years later merged with Petree Stockton to become Kilpatrick Stockton. Knox was elected to the executive committee of the firm and became chairman. Under his tenure, from 1998 to 2001, billing increased 74 percent and the number of lawyers in the firm increased from 361 to 501.
Outside of the legal profession, Knox has served as CEO of Knox Rivers Construction Company, as a member of the Metropolitan Atlanta Olympic Games Authority, as a founding director of the Georgia Lottery Corporation and as a member of the Commission for a New Georgia in addition to holding many other civic and community leadership positions.
UGA School of Law
Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, the School of Law at the University of Georgia was established in 1859. With an accomplished faculty, which includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship, Georgia Law offers three degrees – the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws in U.S. Law and the Master in the Study of Law – and is home to the renowned Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy. The school counts six U.S. Supreme Court judicial clerks in the last nine years among its distinguished alumni body of more than 9,700. For more information, please see www.law.uga.edu.