March 31, 2022 – For Stephen Wallace, a 1983 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, supporting future scholars at UH is about advocating for education.
Thanks to the Stephen (J.D. ’83) and Kristine G. Wallace Endowed Scholarship, the couple’s goal of supporting the UH Law Center and its students will soon come to fruition.
“We feel very strongly about fostering the careers of aspiring lawyers,” Wallace said.
Wallace studied linguistics at Rice University and received a Ph.D. in linguistics from Cornell University. After earning his doctoral degree, Wallace taught in his field for several years until enrolling at the University of Houston Law Center in 1980.
“Education has mattered a lot to me, it’s just part of who I am. And Kristine is the same way,” Wallace said. “It means a lot to us, and to help other people get the benefit of a good education is important to us.”
The Wallaces’ gifts on UH Giving Day 2022 included a generous matching gift commitment of $30,000 to match dollar-for-dollar gifts under $10,000 to the Law Center’s Scholarship & Awards Fund. These gifts will help the UH Law Center increase student scholarship support and amplify the Fuel the Future Initiative to raise $10 million for scholarships by 2025. The Wallaces’ pledge over three years totals $200,000.
“It feels good to give,” Wallace said. “We want to support education.”
Wallace said he encourages other UH Law Center alumni to “roll up your sleeves, pull out your wallets, and give.”
With his strong background in linguistics, pursuing a law degree was “a logical transition” for Wallace, saying, “Law involves words.”
“There’s the written word, and there’s the whole subject of oral advocacy,” he said.
Wallace said his time at the UH Law Center was “excellent training” for his career in corporate law, citing courses like contracts, legal writing, corporations, and securities law as especially valuable for his future path.
After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in 1983, Wallace worked at Baker Botts for 11 years. He started as an associate attorney and left the firm in 1993 as a partner.
Following tenures as VP/Assistant General Counsel at Enron and Vice President for Legal Affairs at Transworld Oil USA, Wallace joined Westlake Chemical Corporation in 2003 where he went on to spend the rest of his career as the company’s Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Wallace retired from the company in 2014.
“There are a lot of things that you don’t learn in law school that you learn out in the big wide world,” Wallace said. “You’re always learning something new all the time. You’re confronted with new issues, something you’ve never heard of or thought about, or never looked into. I had a really, really interesting career.”
He said as a final remark, “As they say at UH Law Center, we need, we benefit from, we must promote, the Power of Legal Education.”
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