OU alumnus and president of Oklahoma City University Robert H. Henry will deliver the University of Oklahoma’s Commencement address at 7 p.m. Friday, May 12, in The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 180 W. Brooks St.
“Judge Robert Henry is one of OU’s most distinguished graduate. A forceful advocate of education, he is a role model for public service for our entire community,” said OU President David Boren.
Henry is a distinguished legal and foreign relations scholar, public servant and civic leader. Appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in 1994, he served as chief judge from January 2008 until June 2010. Prior to his service as chief judge, he served as attorney general of the state of Oklahoma from 1986 to 1991 and also served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1976 to 1986, elected while still a student at the OU College of Law. He was principal author of the 1986 Oklahoma General Corporation Act that moved Oklahoma law to the Delaware corporate law model.
A leader in higher education, Henry was appointed as president of OCU in 2010. He previously served as dean and professor at OCU School of Law from 1991 to 1994. Henry also taught at the OU Honors College, OU College of Law and Oklahoma Baptist University and served as the inaugural Distinguished Judge in Residence at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He established the Henry Family Lecture Series at the OU College of Law, which continues to bring many notable speakers to campus such as former White House Counsel Greg Craig and, from the U.S. Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. At OU, Henry also served on the advisory boards for the College of International Studies and the Honors College.
As a state representative, Henry co-authored the legislation that established the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, where he also established the Senator Penny Williams Distinguished Lecture Series, which hosts national and international figures in the arts and sciences. He has presented numerous lectures across the country and abroad and is widely published in magazines, newspapers and various law reviews. His scholarship has been published by the university presses of Oxford, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Henry currently serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a life member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. His previous service includes the Advisory Board for the Judicial Outreach Program of the American Society of International Law and as a board member of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. He was the first chair of the ABA’s Middle East and North Africa Council. He succeeded Justice O’Connor as the U.S. representative to the Foundation for the Future, a human rights and prodemocracy organization, based in Amman, Jordan.
Henry currently serves on the boards of directors of Devon Energy and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and has served on the boards of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and Allied Arts Oklahoma City. Among many honors and accolades, he was named Leadership Oklahoma’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and was made an honorary member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma.
A native of Shawnee, Henry received his bachelor’s degree in political science and a juris doctorate from OU in 1974 and 1976, respectively.
For more information about OU’s graduation ceremony, please visit www.ou.edu/commencement.