An Interview with the Man in the Arena
Dean Guter shares his thoughts on leadership, the qualities that distinguish outstanding leaders, and his best advice for STCL Houston alumni and students.
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Donald J. Guter served as the 10th president and dean of Houston’s oldest law school, South Texas College of Law Houston from 2009 through 2019. Dean Guter served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years, retiring in 2002 as a Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC). He climbed the ranks of the JAG Corps from trial counsel to legislative counsel, to special counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations, and ultimately became the 37th Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 2000-2002.
Dean Guter epitomizes integrity, professionalism and authenticity. While many of his actions are behind the scenes and “invisible” to the public — as is the case with some of history’s greatest leaders — his impact on students, faculty, staff, the community, and the legal profession is unparalleled. From serving as a Naval commander, to the top legal officer for the U.S. Navy, to the leader of Houston’s oldest law school, to an accessible, reliable mentor for law students juggling classes, careers, and families, Dean Guter manages it all with a masterful ability to listen, engage, and encourage those in his sphere.
In 2009, a chance encounter at an event in New York brought us our 10th president and dean. Hear the story first-hand from the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
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Aside from being an amazing mentor to faculty, staff, alumni, and students – Dean Guter’s impact to the school is nearly immeasurable. Learn more about Dean Guter’s chief accomplishments.
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