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Saturday, April 10, 2021

Law school names center for alum Dee Kelly Sr.

The George Washington University Law School celebrated the legacy of alumnus Dee J. Kelly Sr. during a dedication ceremony and the official renaming of the Law School Learning Center to the Dee J. Kelly Law Learning Center on Aug. 31. The law school previously announced that it received a $1.25 million gift to support its operations from the foundation.

Blake D. Morant, dean of GW Law, welcomed family members and friends of Kelly and shared details about his legacy and the impact he made in the law and in Texas politics. After graduating from GW Law in 1954, Kelly arrived in Fort Worth, where he established what became one of the state’s most influential law firms, Kelly Hart & Hallman. At GW Law, Morant said, Kelly left “his imprint to show that lawyers, in addition to doing what they do for their clients, have got to figure out a way of advancing society, and he did that in a number of different ways. I am so proud to have this opportunity to lead this program and to dedicate it to a true giant, an individual who was not only a great lawyer but also a great humanitarian and someone who believed in fostering society,” Morant said.

According to university President Thomas J. LeBlanc, “Mr. Kelly’s legacy of service through law and philanthropy embodies what it means to be a GW alumnus. With this generous gift and through the naming of the Dee J. Kelly Law Learning Center, we hope to honor Dee’s memory by continuing to foster a dynamic student-focused community stimulated by cultural and intellectual diversity. The studying, legal research and moot court competitions our students hold here will help to do just that.”

Kelly’s three children — Cindy Kelly Barnes, Dee J. Kelly Jr. and Craig L. Kelly — and his grandchildren attended the dedication ceremony to celebrate his life and contributions. “This would be a very special day to him, not just because his name is up on the wall, it’s because of recognition of what this education meant to him and what it meant to his future,” said Dee Kelly Jr.

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