Law School News

South Texas College of Law Houston Launches Website to Honor Outgoing President and Dean

At the end of next month, Donald J. Guter — president and dean of South Texas College of Law Houston and the 18thlongest-serving dean of the nation’s 204 American Bar Association (ABA)-approved law schools — will step down when his contract expires.

To honor his tremendous contributions and 10-year legacy, the law school recently launched an official website to thank Guter and encourage personal messages from those whose lives have been touched by his kindness, professional guidance, and teaching.

At www.stcl.edu/farewellguter, friends, colleagues, students, and the school’s more than 15,000 alumni across the world are invited to publish tweets to Dean Guter with the hashtag #farewellguter. Individuals also may tweet personal messages to Guter’s wife, Pat — a longstanding supporter and STCL Houston champion — using the same hashtag.

An introduction on the honorary website notes, “Donald J. Guter served as the 10thpresident 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 37thJudge Advocate General of the Navy from 2000 to 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 STCL Houston, 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.”

The website features a Q&A with Guter on leadership, two video tributes, and a slideshow of photos from his tenure at the law school. The site also includes a tribute to Pat Guter and a fact sheet demonstrating the outstanding contributions the Guters made to STCL Houston.

“Throughout his decade-long tenure at South Texas College of Law Houston, Dean Guter has been instrumental in advancing a robust strategic plan that has greatly benefited the school, our students, and sets the framework for continued progress in the years to come,” said J. Ken Johnson, chairman of the STCL Houston board of directors. “Our law school programs have advanced, our philanthropic efforts have expanded, and STCL Houston’s national recognition has increased under his leadership. We thank the Dean for his exemplary service and for leaving a legacy which will far outlast his tenure at the law school.”

Beginning in August, Michael F. Barry — current assistant dean and practitioner in residence at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, will become South Texas College of Law Houston’s 11th president and dean.