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Jenna C. Taylor

Karen K. Kaplan,
Assistant Vice President
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Director of University
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Chief Communications Officer


Cynthia J. Johnson, PhD
Director of Development Communications

Kevin J. Foyle, MBA, CFRE
Vice President
for Development

UTHealth Development Board Member Stephen D. Susman Receives Torch of Learning Award

Published: March 08, 2013 by Jenna C. Taylor

Stephen D. Susman

Stephen D. Susman

Attorney Stephen D. Susman and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Development Board member, has been honored with the George A. Katz Torch of Learning Award by the American Friends of The Hebrew University (AFHU).

The Torch of Learning Award is presented annually to a distinguished member or members of the legal community in recognition of outstanding leadership, scholarship and dedication to society. The award is given to those who uphold the ideals that were embodied by the late philanthropist George A. Katz, co-founder of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and friend of AFHU. 

“Mr. Susman’s efforts in public service and community activism have been especially felt at UTHealth. His family foundation has long supported the UTHealth School of Dentistry and has helped create healthy smiles for literally thousands of children,” said UTHealth President Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, MD. “We are deeply grateful for the support he and Ellen have brought to the university’s outreach efforts and feel this award is well deserved.”

Susman has been a pioneer of alternative fee agreements that pay trial lawyers (both for plaintiffs and defendants) for results, not effort. In 1980, he founded Susman Godfrey, the first firm in the country to limit its specialty to commercial civil litigation representing both sides of the docket. The firm now has 100 lawyers in offices in Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York. “Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers” twice named Susman the Leading Commercial Litigator in the World, and The National Law Journal featured him as one of the nation's top ten litigators.

In addition to his work on the UTHealth Development Board, Susman serves on the boards of the Yale Art Gallery, the American Constitution Society, The University of Texas Law School Foundation, the University of Houston Law School Foundation, the Supreme Court Historical Society and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer. He is a member of the ADL Executive Committee and serves as the Chair of its Extremism Center. In addition, he is a life member of the American Law Institute and the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Susman graduated from Yale University and The University of Texas School of Law, after which he clerked for Justice Hugo Black on the United States Supreme Court. He and his wife, Ellen, split their time between New York and Houston, states in which their their children and grandchildren also reside.