Where are they now?: Ken Curry (1973-74)
Still swinging the gavel
He learned life lessons that he couldn’t have learned anywhere else. That’s how alumnus Ken Curry, now Tarrant County 153rd District Court judge, remembers his time at UT Arlington.
Curry places high importance on earning an education from a university whose students work while pursuing their degrees. They appreciate higher education more, he reasons.
“Education is a privilege,” he said. “I saw many others go to private schools or more traditional universities with the attitude that getting a college education is their right.”
Issues like the Vietnam War and Watergate roiled the waters during Curry’s student years. As Student Congress president in 1973-74, he watched social unrest reach a peak, with UT Arlington students taking a fairly conservative position.
“In 1969 there was a nationwide student protest against the Vietnam War, and most other colleges had hundreds and thousands of students protesting,” he said. “UTA had about 100 participate in demonstrations.”
Several professors left lasting impressions that Curry would apply to his law career, such as the ability to understand a situation and explain it to others. Political science Associate Professor Allan Saxe and modern languages Professor Charles McDowell were among the best at outlining issues and helping students discern different perspectives, he said.
It’s a skill Curry must employ on the job. The 1974 political science graduate loves being a civil court judge. One of his favorite responsibilities is working with the jury members because they all strive to do a good job, he said. Another aspect he enjoys: helping others find legal solutions to their problems.
“Most of the time people just want to tell their side of the story,” he said. “Most are willing to accept the decision if they believe that someone has listened to their story, even if they are found wrong.”
— Kim Pewitt-Jones