Baylor Law School Announces Major Gift Of $1 Million From Darrell And Susan Keith Of Fort Worth

July 21, 2000

by Alan Hunt

Fort Worth lawyers Darrell and Susan Keith will be honored by Baylor University School of Law during a noon luncheon Friday, July 21, at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach, a family friend of the Keiths, will be among those present to offer reflections upon the Keiths' lives and careers.

The Keiths were among the first of Baylor's 5,500 law alumni to make a $1 million gift in the "anchor gift" phase of the Law School's current $35 million Building & Endowment Campaign to build a new law school on the banks of the Brazos River in Waco and to augment the program's endowment.

The new Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center, on which construction began in December 1999, will be ready for students in August 2001, providing Baylor with one of the nation's finest law school facilities. The 125,000-square-foot building, being built at a cost of $30 million, will include classrooms, courtrooms, a comprehensively equipped law library, extensive technology, seminar and meeting rooms, faculty and administrative offices, and common areas.

The Keiths will be the guests of honor during Friday's program, attended by associates at the Law Firm of Darrell Keith, P.C., Fort Worth, along with many of the Keiths' professional colleagues and friends, and senior Baylor administrators, including Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr., and Brad Toben, dean of Baylor Law School.

Keith, a 1970 graduate of Baylor Law School, and his wife were described by Toben as "generous and loyal friends who are people of great commitment." He said their gift will be used to underwrite the Darrell and Susan Keith Courtroom at the new law center and also will underwrite other program enhancements.

"We are proud and blessed to count Darrell and Susan Keith among our most ardent supporters," said Toben. "The professional accomplishments and great philanthropy of both Darrell and Susan set a lofty mark for our law students and for everyone in the legal profession."

After graduation from Baylor, Darrell Keith pursued his long-standing interest in law and medicine and in 1980 founded a law practice devoted to representing plaintiffs in medical and professional malpractice cases. "He has attained a reputation as one of America's premier trial lawyers in this complex area of practice," said Toben. "And as a member of the Baylor Law School adjunct faculty, he has served with distinction as a lecturer in law in health care law courses for many years." In 1993, Keith endowed the Darrell L. Keith Professorship of Law and Medicine at Baylor Law School.

Susan Keith received her undergraduate degree from Baylor in 1968 and her law degree from Southern Methodist University in 1975. She joined the Halliburton Company in 1975 where she now serves as vice president, secretary and corporate counsel. Halliburton ranks as the world's largest energy services company. Earlier at Halliburton, she was elected as an assistant secretary in 1977 and corporate secretary in 1986. Ms. Keith is a past director of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries and a past president of its Dallas Chapter. She is a member of the SMU Law School Alumni Association Council.

The Keiths' daughter, Courtney Keith Conroy, graduated from Baylor Law School in 1993 and is a shareholder in the Law Firm of Darrell Keith, P.C.

"We are both highly indebted to Baylor and what it has done for us and our family," Keith said. "We feel that we should give something back to Baylor in exchange for all that Baylor has done for us. We are very excited about the new law center and want to be a part of establishing a facility and enhancing a program that will be among the best in the country."

Recalling her "fond memories" as an undergraduate student, Ms. Keith said, "Some of the best times of my life were spent at Baylor. You knew almost everyone on campus and many of our friends have become lifelong friends. There was so much collegiality and school spirit."

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