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August 30, 2013

Judge David Russell to Receive RSU Constitution Day Award

The Honorable David L Russell
The Honorable David L Russell

The Honorable David L Russell, Senior U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma will be named the recipient of the Rogers State University Constitution Award at a ceremony and luncheon on Wednesday, September 25, 2013.

The ceremony and luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Centennial Center Ballroom on RSU's Claremore Campus, 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Tickets are $30 each.

Each fall since 1987, RSU has presented the Constitution Award to an Oklahoman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution through his or her life's work. The RSU Constitution Award was established in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

Area high school students will participate in the event through the generosity of the event sponsors.

"We are honored to recognize Judge Russell with this distinguished award," said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. "He served Oklahoma and the nation with distinction and has proven to be a diligent guardian of the principles of the U.S. Constitution."

Born in Sapulpa, Russell earned his bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Baptist University in 1962 and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1965. He served in the United States Navy, Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1965 to 1968, continuing to serve as a reservist until 1971 and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Russell served as an assistant attorney general for Oklahoma from 1968 to 1969, and then was legal advisor to Gov. Dewey Bartlett from 1969 to 1971. He entered private practice in Oklahoma City for a year. When Bartlett was elected to the U.S. Senate, Russell was named his chief legislative assistant. Russell later was named U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, serving in that position from 1975-77 and then again from 1981-82. As U.S. Attorney, he led the prosecution in Oklahoma county commissioner scandal, which is the largest public corruption case in U.S. history. He maintained a private practice in Oklahoma City, between those terms of service as U.S. Attorney.

Russell was nominated by President Reagan in December 1981 to a joint judicial seat for Oklahoma's Northern, Eastern and Western federal district courts that had been vacated by Frederick A. Daugherty. Russell was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and began serving as district judge in January 1982.

In 1990, he was reassigned by operation of law to serve on only the Western District of Oklahoma, where he served as chief judge from 1994 to 2001. It was during this tenure that he got the courthouse back in operation less than a week after the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He took senior status on July 7, 2013.

Past recipients of the RSU Constitution Award include for U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan, U.S. District Judge Joseph W. Morris, Senior Judge Stephanie K. Seymour, Chief Judge Robert Henry, Gov. Frank Keating, Judge Lee R. West, U.S. Rep. Lyle Boren, Judge Fred Daugherty, Chief Ross Swimmer, U.S. Speaker Carl Albert, Judge William J. Holloway, Jr., Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Gov. Henry Bellmon, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, Mayor Patience Latting, Justice Marian P. Opala, Sen. David Boren, Hannah Diggs Atkins, Joint Chiefs Chairman William J. Crowe, Jr., Judge James O. Ellison, Alex Adwan, Judge Thomas R. Brett, G.T. Blankenship, Sen. Charles Ford, Sen. Penny Williams, Sen. Anthony Massad and Gov. George Nigh.

For more information on the RSU Constitution Award and Luncheon or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact the RSU Office of Development at 918-343-6816.