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About the Scholarship

Established in 1981 by the Dallas Bar Foundation, the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarship was established to increase the diversity of the legal community in Dallas. The scholarship was originally awarded to exceptional minority student leaders accepted to the SMU Dedman School of Law. These law students, upon graduation, planned to practice law and serve the community in Dallas. In 2015, the scholarships were expanded to include minority students attending the other two area law schools: UNT Dallas College of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law.

The Hughes scholarships help to create a cycle of success in our community. Many of the recipients are the first in their families to graduate from college. To date, the Dallas Bar Foundation has awarded over $2.1 million in Hughes scholarships.

Originally named the Diversity Scholarship, the name was changed to the Sarah T. Hughes Diversity Scholarship in 1982 in recognition of Judge Hughes' outstanding contribution and support of the Dallas Bar Foundation, both monetarily and as a Dallas Bar Foundation trustee. The suggestion for the name change was met with enthusiastic approval and unanimous consent.

Judge Sarah T. Hughes often remarked upon a formula she used to live her life - "Pick out your goal, and then use determination and courage to reach it." As Sarah Tilghman Hughes believed, she lived. Each year, the Dallas Bar Foundation honors students who share Judge Hughes' traits.

Past Hughes Scholars have included many accomplished law students and lawyers. The Hughes Scholars have distinguished themselves in many ways including being named valedictorian in law school, serving as a member of the judiciary, volunteering for the local and state bar associations, donating their time to serve area nonprofit organizations and mentoring others. One of the scholars commented, "this scholarship is a source of empowerment because it places responsibility in the hands of those who have been traditionally under-represented in the legal community."

Current Hughes Scholars

Class of 2016: Dorlin Armijo, Camille Powell
Class of 2017: Ashley Wright, Miriam Garza, Sarah Sible
Class of 2018: Michaela Noble, Delia Castro, Byron Bailey  
Class of 2019: Victoria Nguyen


Past Recipients

2015: Lacey Quintanilla Barkley, Fahad Juneja*(honorary)
2014: Fidaa Elaydi
2013: Ujaala Rashid, Olivia Ybarra
2012: Esmeralda Tinajero
2011: Ann Chao, Desirée Ochoa, Alexandra Ray
2010: Jeff Ghouse, Clifford (C.J.) Robertson
2009: Huyen Luong, Akshar Patel, Fatima Shah, Cedric Powell*(honorary)
2008: Corey Humphrey, Danielle Rodriguez
2007: Frederick Day, Gabrielle Loveless Smith, Elisabeth Wilson
2006: Abril Aberasturi, Syeeda Amin, Daphne Walker
2005: Kimberly Jessie Cunningham, Christopher Graham, Dwayne Norton
2004: Yvette Ramos Wade, Carolyn Ates, Jennifer Hunter McKenzie
2003: Jeronimo Valdez
2002: Gabriel Vazquez
2001: Darlene Woodson Smith
2000: Temesha Evans-Davis
1999: Ayoka Campbell
1998: Melissa Rodriguez
1997: Alex Frutos
1996: Laura Hernandez
1995: Juan Walker
1994: Sean Cordobes
1993: O. Rey Rodriguez
1992: Rickey A. Walton
1991: Hon. Irma C. Ramirez
1990: T. J. Johnson
1989: Dianne K. Jones
1988: John Loza
1987: George Parker
1986: Juan A. Boada
1985: Diana Orozco-Garrett
1984: Henry Gilmore

About Sarah T. Hughes

Sarah Tilghman Hughes (August 2, 1896 - April 23, 1985) was the United States District Court judge who swore Lyndon Johnson into the office of President on Air Force One, becoming the first - and to date the only - woman in U.S. history to swear in a U.S. President, a task usually executed by the Chief Justice of the United States. The photo of Judge Hughes administering the oath of office remains the most famous photo ever taken aboard Air Force One.

Born Sarah Tilghman in Baltimore, Maryland, she was the daughter of James and Elizabeth Haughton Tilghman. After graduating from Goucher College, she taught science at Salem Academy in North Carolina for several years. In 1919 she moved to Washington, D.C., and returned to school to attend the George Washington University Law School. She attended night classes and worked as a police officer during the day.

She moved to Dallas, Texas in 1922 with her husband, George Hughes, whom she had met in law school. She practiced law for eight years in Dallas before becoming involved in politics, first being elected in 1930 to three terms in the Texas House of Representatives.

In 1935, she accepted an appointment as a state judge from Governor James Allred for the Fourteenth District Court in Dallas, allowing her to preside over trials in which women were not yet allowed to sit as jurors. Judge Hughes was re-elected and remained at that post until 1960.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the federal bench in the Northern District of Texas. Two years later, on November 22, 1963, she was called upon to administer the oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

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The application can be obtained by calling 214.220.7487.

The scholarship application is available by clicking on the tab above or at the SMU Dedman School of Law Admissions office. Deadline for submitting an application is February 15th each year.

Applications must be received at the Dallas Bar Foundation by that date. Please mail your application to:

Elizabeth Philipp
Dallas Bar Foundation
2101 Ross Ave
Dallas, TX 75201