Baylor Law Mourns the Passing of Senator Murray Watson Jr.

July 25, 2018

Baylor Law Mourns the Passing of Senator Murray Watson Jr.

Dean Toben announcing Senator Murray Watson, Jr. as Lawyer of the year 2017

Dean Brad Toben surprises Senator Murray Watson Jr with the announcement that he had been selected Baylor Lawyer of the Year in 2017

WACO, Texas - July 25, 2018

Murray Watson Jr., (J.D. ’54) former state representative and senator, education champion, and noted philanthropist, passed away on Tuesday, July 24th. He was 86.

Headshot of Senator Murray Watson Jr.

Senator Murray Watson Jr.

Senator Watson graduated from Baylor University in 1952 with a B.B.A. in accounting and economics, and from Baylor Law in 1954 with a juris doctor. Three years after graduating from Baylor Law, Watson was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. He served in the House until 1963 when he was elected to serve in the Texas Senate. As a Texas Senator, he proposed the bill establishing the creation of the James Connally Technical Institute, no known as Texas State Technical College (TSTC). He established the medical school in Temple as a branch of Texas A&M.

Senator Watson’s community involvement was extensive, including service on the McLennan County College Foundation Board, Waco Chamber of Commerce, Historic Waco Foundation, Mart Community Center, Mart Lion’s Club, Rotary Club of Waco, Mart Chapter of Order of the Eastern Star, Worthy Grand Patron of the Grand Chapter of Texas, OES, Baylor Masonic Lodge #1235 attaining 33rd Degree Honorary, as a member of the Board of Trustees for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, and Karem Shrine Temple. He is a longtime member of Austin Avenue United Methodist Church and has served in many church leadership roles.

A giant has passed and the likes of Senator Murray Watson will not pass this way again.

–Dean Brad Toben

Dean Brad Toben, upon hearing of Senator Watson’s passing, stated “Senator Watson was always there to make a difference for others, always matter-of-fact, always grateful for all he and Greta were blessed with in life and always wanting to work from the background. He and Greta represent all that is good in faith and the human spirit and endeavor. Were only that our nation was blessed with more like them.” He added, “A giant has passed and the likes of Senator Murray Watson will not pass this way again.”

Senator Watson will be greatly missed by the Baylor Law community.

A tribute to Senator Watson, Baylor Lawyer of the Year 2017, is here.

Senator Watson’s obituary in the Waco Tribune is here.

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Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,400 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law’s trial advocacy program as one of the top 5 in the nation. Baylor Law School is also ranked #50 in the magazine’s 2019 edition of "America’s Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training," and #4 in the nation in its most recent "Best Law School Facilities" listing. The Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since the award's inception in 1984. Learn more at


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at

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