UT Dallas - The LINK
March 2014

EPPS Graduates Make a Strong Case for Tribute to Pre-Law Program Head


A simulated courtroom installed at UT Dallas last year is named for Dr. Anthony Champagne.

Years after sitting in Dr. Anthony Champagne’s classroom, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (EPPS) graduates Brooke Asiatico BA’00, Deborah Mackoy BS’93 and Vincent Morgan BA’95 are leading a charge to honor a man whose influence still guides their careers.

“As a student, it was clear to me how Dr. Champagne was clearly driven by a desire to impart a love for learning – not just of facts, but for the who and why behind stories, lessons and important points from our country’s legal system history,” said Mackoy, a partner at Mackoy, Hernandez, Qualls and Brown. “His insistence on our understanding the ‘back story’ made the study fun and far more memorable.”

Champagne, a political science professor and director of the Pre-Law Program in Undergraduate Education, has been a cornerstone in EPPS since 1979. In 2013, a long-awaited replica of the type of courtroom found in courthouses all over Texas was installed in the Founders Building and dedicated in Champagne’s name. This installation inspired former students to band together to further recognize a man who influenced each of their careers.

Each of the three alumni spearheading the effort has pledged support toward the minimum of $10,000 needed to establish the Anthony Champagne Opportunity Fund for Pre-Law Program, which will provide ongoing financial support to the pre-law program for scholarships, mock trial travel and other expenses that strengthen the program. Commitments starting at $1,000 made by May 31 will be permanently recognized on a commemorative plaque inside the courtroom.

Asiatico, Mackoy and Morgan credit UT Dallas – and specifically Champagne’s influence – for creating the foundation upon which they are building careers.

“Even though great teachers are a hallmark of UT Dallas, Dr. Champagne has long stood out because of the depth of his efforts to help students well beyond the classroom,” Morgan, a partner at the Pillsbury law firm, said. “As one of those former students, it is an honor to be a part of something that will help him continue that work.”

And other former students – individuals now in private practice, government service and other businesses – agree. To date, nearly a dozen have pledged more than $26,000 to the Opportunity Fund.

“The hope for this fund is that it will provide additional resources for the program that Dr. Champagne pours his heart into,” Mackoy said. “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Champagne and am eager to assist in making the same opportunity available to others.”

Gifts of any level are tax-deductible and can be paid over the next five years. Funds also count toward the Realize the Vision campaign, the University’s first comprehensive campaign now in the final phase of the five-year effort.

To learn more, contact Tricia Monfrey at 972-883-6505.

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