Don McCleary Scholarship

The Donald C. McCleary Gardere Leadership Scholarship is awarded annually to a second-year student at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in memory of former Gardere Managing Partner Don McCleary. Presented to a student who has demonstrated leadership qualities consistent with the values embraced by Mr. McCleary, scholarship applicants must share information about their academics, leadership and character, and involvement with the law school and community.

Mr. McCleary, who passed away in 1996, served as Gardere's Managing Partner from 1991 through 1995 and excelled at instilling in others the determination to succeed. His leadership was rooted in the belief that a shared vision was the basis for a successful law firm, and he had a unique ability for getting the best of and from everyone, both lawyers and staff.

Mr. McCleary's vision for Gardere included participation in local, state and national public affairs, humanitarian activities and pro bono work, and he encouraged everyone to get involved. He established many of the community outreach programs that have become a hallmark of the Firm, including GardereProud, which honors the military service of Firm members and their families, and the Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition, which celebrated 23 years in 2015.

Diversity was not just a buzz word to Mr. McCleary. He fostered it not only in religion, race and gender, but in ideas and goals. With insightful and skilled leadership, he encouraged many Dallas Bar leaders to improve the diversity in our legal community.

Our Firm was very saddened by Mr. McCleary's early passing. Gardere established this scholarship to help perpetuate the memory of the vibrant energy Mr. McCleary instilled in all that knew him and to help the leaders of tomorrow follow in his footsteps.

Scholarship Recipients:

  • 2016 Brett Moore
  • 2015 Angela Oliver
  • 2014 Allyson Gault
  • 2013 Soo Nam
  • 2012 Jennifer Staton
  • 2011 Tamara Bennett
  • 2010 Rebekah Bailey
  • 2009 Amy Binks Sanderson
  • 2008 Ausra Laurusaite-Kromelis

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