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Generous gift establishes David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award

David J. BeckThrough a generous gift to the Lamar University Foundation, Houston attorney David J. Beck has established the David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award at Lamar University.

Each year, a recipient of the David J. Beck Teaching Excellence Award will receive $25,000 and will retain the title of Beck Teaching Excellence Award recipient throughout her or his academic career.

Nominations for the award will come from students, faculty, or administrators and a panel appointed by the Lamar University president will review nominations and teaching evaluations, conduct interviews and select at least one recipient each year who best represents exceptional teaching performance and whose innovative instructional achievements bring great credit to the university.

LU President Kenneth Evans explains, “Mr. Beck is a great friend of our university, where he inspires and enables the highest level of scholarship and research through the David J. Beck Fellowships given each year to two outstanding undergraduate students.” The Beck Fellowship has been awarded since 2009.

“His most recent unique offering of support extends to the foundation of the university, our faculty,” Evans said. “There is a wonderful alchemy taking place by combining pedagogical prowess, a passion for teaching, and genuine interest in student success. Mr. Beck’s generous gift supports the very best in teaching at Lamar University and will have a lasting impact on our faculty and student success.”

A Port Arthur native whose father worked at a refinery and whose mother raised five children, Beck credits Lamar with giving him the opportunity to attend college and gain a foundation for future success. Neither of his parents attended college. A 1961 Lamar University graduate and distinguished alumnus, Beck has served as president of the Lamar University Foundation and regent of the former Lamar University System.

Beck has been recognized by several publications as one of the top lawyers in the state, region, and nation and is a founding partner of Beck-Redden, L.L.P., a Houston-based premier litigation firm. In 2004, United States Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist appointed him to the prestigious Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules and Procedure. In 2007, he was reappointed to a three-year term by Chief Justice John Roberts.

In addition to his work on behalf of the Supreme Court, Beck has served as president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Association of Defense Counsel, and the State Bar of Texas. In 2015, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Beck to a six-year term on the University of Texas System Board of Regents.

In the 25th Anniversary issue of Texas Lawyer magazine, Beck was named one of the 25 Greatest Lawyers of the past quarter century.