TU to Establish Endowed Scholarship to Honor Judge Charles L. Owens

Friday, June 28, 2002

Published on 6/28/02

The man who is already in history books as Oklahoma’s first African American judge is about to find his name in another place of honor: The Charles L. Owens Endowed Scholarship at The University of Tulsa College of Law.

Fund raising for the scholarship campaign kicked off last month in Oklahoma City. Mike and Susan Turpen hosted local TU law graduates who had gathered to finalize plans for an Oklahoma City area alumni chapter.

Peter Bradford, of Conner and Winters, will head up the Oklahoma City alumni chapter. Bradford, who attended TU with Owens, introduced the judge and his wife, Edythe, to the group, noting the judge’s many accomplishments.

Judge Owens was graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and Lincoln University and attended night classes at TU Law School while working for the Tulsa Police Department. He received his law degree in 1960 and formed a general law practice in Tulsa. In 1963, he 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. Judge Owens has been on “retired-active” duty since 1998, and this May received the lifetime achievement award at the 2002 TU law alumni gala.

For more information about the Charles L. Owens Endowed Scholarship, contact Terry Kerr at (918) 631-2566 or at terry-kerr@utulsa.edu.