TU Law Alumni to Honor Charles Owens; Oklahoma’s First African American Judge

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Published on 4/17/02

Retired District Judge Charles L. Owens, a 1960 graduate of The University of Tulsa College of Law, will receive the lifetime achievement award at the annual TU Law Alumni Gala on Friday, May 3, at Southern Hills Country Club. Tulsa’s new mayor and his wife, Bill and Kathy LaFortune, both graduates of the law class of 1983, also will be honored at a cocktail reception immediately preceding the Gala.

Judge Owens, a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and Lincoln University, attended night classes at TU Law School while working for the Tulsa Police Department. He formed a general law practice in Tulsa, and in 1963, was appointed the first African American assistant attorney general in Oklahoma history. In 1968, he became the first African American judge in state history when he was named to the Oklahoma District Court Seventh Judicial District. Since 1998, Judge Owens has been on “retired-active” duty with the Oklahoma judiciary.

Other honorees at the event will include Robert. S. Farris (JD ’75), adjunct faculty member; Linda Mitchell Price, honorary alumna; Noah Fontanez (JD ’02), student service; and Rachel Blue (JD ’88), who will receive the Presidential Service Award.

Sponsors include Guaranty Abstract Company; Pre-Paid Legal Services; Conner and Winters; Doerner, Saunders, Daniel and Anderson; Head, Johnson and Kachigian; Key Legal Personnel; and Retherford Publications.

The cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m.; dinner at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are $65 each; tables of 10 are available for $600. For more information, contact Sara Koepp at (918) 631-3321 or at sarah-koepp@utulsa.edu.