Baylor Law School Hosts 10th Court Of Appeals Investiture
by Alan Hunt
Justice Thomas W. Gray, a 1985 Baylor Law School graduate, was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of the 10th Court of Appeals, Waco, during an investiture ceremony Dec. 9 at Baylor Law School.
The program was held in the Jim Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Classroom and Courtroom at the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center.
Gray, who has served since 1999 as an Associate Justice of the 10th Court of Appeals, was appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Chief Justice Rex D. Davis, who left the court four months ago to join the Waco law firm of Sheehy, Lovelace and Mayfield. Judge Davis, a 1974 Baylor law graduate, was appointed Chief Justice in 1996 to fill the unexpired term of Chief Justice Bob L. Thomas, a 1960 Baylor law graduate, who died Feb. 20, 1996, while in office.
Felipe Reyna, a local lawyer, former McLennan County district attorney and a 1972 Baylor law graduate, has been appointed to Gray's former Associate Justice slot on the bench. The other member of the three-member court is Justice Bill Vance, who has served on the court since 1991.
Participants in Tuesday's investiture ceremony included Judge Walter S. Smith, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, who administered the oath of office to Chief Justice Gray; Judge Davis; Brad Toben, dean of the Law School; and Dr. Steven L. Mansen, senior pastor of Central Christian Church, who gave the invocation. The pledge of allegiance was led by former U.S. Army paratrooper Rick L. Sowell, who serves as information technology coordinator at Baylor Law School.
A reception followed in the foyer of the Kronzer Appellate Courtroom.