STANLEY EVANS and BREEA CLARK
For Outstanding Service in the Spirit of Ellison's Legacy
Stanley Evans became Dean of Students at the University of Oklahoma College of Law a few short months after graduating from law school there in 2003, an unprecedented achievement for such a recent former student. He was also the first African American to hold the position of Dean at any law school in the state of Oklahoma. Soon after he assumed this position, positive changes were seen at the College of Law, including a dramatic increase in minority enrollment, a jump in the bar exam passage rate from 75% to over 90% for minority graduates and to 97% overall, as well as OU Law’s recognition by U.S. News and World Report as one of the 20 best law schools for diversity in the nation. Although he retired from OU Law in 2012, Evans has continued to help students, alumni, and the College as a counselor, advisor, and recruiter.
As Chairman of the Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, Dean Evans energetically raised awareness of issues of human rights across the state. A Vietnam War Veteran, Evans spent 32 years on active-duty service in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Colonel, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Oklahoma Board Association’s Military and Veteran’s Section. He is also a lead volunteer in the Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes Program, a service that provides free legal services to Oklahoma soldiers, veterans, and their families. He is also the chief legal coordinator for Oklahoma City’s MAKE-A-WILL and Family Financial Counseling Programs, which assist over 500 families with financial planning and passing wealth from one generation to the next.
For these activities and others, Evans received the OBA’s Pro Bono Person of the Year Award in 2011, the OBA’s Diversity Award in 2013, and two Oklahoma Governor’s Commendations. His work on these community projects and others continues. He and his wife of 48 years, Saundra, have also funded scholarships at the OU College of Law, the OU College of Journalism, and with the Oklahoma City Urban League.
City of Norman Councilmember Breea Clark moved from Kansas in 2005 to attend the University of Oklahoma College of Law. After passing the bar exam, she began her career on campus at the University of Oklahoma under the Provost in the Office of Academic Integrity Programs where she currently serves as Associate Director.
Before beginning her official term as Councilmember of Norman’s Ward Six in 2016, Clark served on the Tree Board, Library Board, and the Norman Forward Sales Tax Citizens Financial Oversight Board. She also served on various task forces with Norman Public Schools. Having recently served as President of Norman PTA Council, Councilmember Clark remains involved with PTA at the local, district, and state level.
With our Shadow and Act award this year, we wish especially to salute Clark’s role in spearheading local efforts to change the name of DeBarr Avenue, a prominent street just a few blocks north of the University of Oklahoma campus that was named after an early university professor, administrator, and Grand Dragon of the Oklahoma Ku Klux Klan who was removed by the OU Board of Regents in 1923. A controversial issue for decades in Norman, the difficult process of renaming the street was renewed by Clark in the spring of 2017 with a unsuccesful petition drive but gained momentum as the year went on, finally culminating in a unanimous vote by the Norman City Council in December to rechristen DeBarr Avenue to “Deans Row Avenue.”