RSU to Present Constitution Award to Judge Robert Henry Sept. 29

Chief Judge Robert Henry of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit will be named the recipient of the Rogers State University Constitution Award at a ceremony and luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The ceremony and luncheon will be held at 12 noon in the Ballroom of the Centennial Center on the RSU campus in Claremore.

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.

This year, the Constitution Award takes on special significance as RSU celebrates its Centennial. The university was founded in 1909.

“We are proud and honored to present Chief Judge Robert Henry with this distinguished award during our 100th anniversary,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “As a lifelong public servant, he has diligently guarded the principles of the U.S. Constitution and has advanced the well-being of the state of Oklahoma and our nation through his service in the judiciary.”

Past recipients of the RSU Constitution Award include 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.

In a public service career spanning nearly three decades, Henry has served in each branch of government. From 1976 to 1986, he was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, chairing the Judiciary and Education Committees and the Majority Caucus. He was elected Oklahoma Attorney General in 1986. When he was re-elected in 1990, he became the first Attorney General candidate in the state’s history to run unopposed. He held the positions of Dean and Professor of Law at the Oklahoma City University School of Law from 1991 until 1994. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in 1994 and became Chief Judge on January 1, 2008.

Henry is a member of the Board of Directors for the VERA Institute of Justice in New York City and is a Life Member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, serving Oklahoma since 1982. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia University Law School and was selected by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to serve on the Advisory Board for the Judicial Outreach Program of the American Society of International Law.

Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Henry as a member of the Committee on Codes of Conduct of the Judicial Conference of the United States, on which he served from 2004-2005. In 2005, the Chief Justice named Henry Chair of the International Judicial Relations Committee. He chaired the International Judicial Relations Committee through April 2008, and is currently serving as a member of that committee.

The first Constitution Award event at RSU included a panel discussion of the Constitution featuring noted lawmakers from across the state, and the presentation of the first award to former Congressman Lyle Boren. The statue of Washington, which graces the center grounds of the RSU campus in Claremore, was created by Yon Sim Pak, who at the time was an artist-in-residence. Pak became a naturalized citizen during his tenure at the university.

In addition to past recipients of the Constitution Award, the Board of Governors includes Mitch Adwon, Jan Miller, James Morrison and RSU President Dr. Larry Rice.

For more information on the RSU Constitution Award and Luncheon, contact the RSU Foundation at (918) 343-7773.