LU honors Hubert Oxford III with ninth SETX Legends Scholarship

Marilyn Tennissen Oct. 24, 2007, 5:00am

Beaumont attorney Hubert Oxford was honored with a Legends Scholarship at Lamar University.

Press release from Lamar University

Lamar University and the Beaumont Foundation of America have announced the ninth and final Southeast Texas Legends Scholarships – this one honoring Beaumont attorney Hubert Oxford III.

The $100,000 endowed scholarship established by the Beaumont Foundation will assist underserved students who attend Lamar University, President Simmons said at a ceremony and news conference Thursday, Oct. 11, in the University Reception Center of the Mary and John Gray Library.

Oxford learned the value of hard work, commitment and determination as a member of the 1955 St. Anthony High School Bulldogs championship football team. That squad held the historic distinction of bringing the first official state football championship to Beaumont.

He insists, with a laugh, the only reason they allowed him on the team was because he owned a truck and could transport team members to the practice field two miles away.

As an offensive guard and letter winner, the experience of participating on the team was one of many that instilled in him a strong work ethic and integrity that would serve him well throughout his career. He is currently managing partner of the Beaumont law firm Benckenstein & Oxford, LLP.

Oxford was born and reared in Beaumont graduating from St. Anthony's High School in 1956. He graduated with honors from Texas A&M University in 1960 where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering while attending Lamar University each summer. He then went on to law school at the University of Texas graduating in 1963.

With a law degree in his portfolio and an officer's commission at Texas A&M for the U.S. Air Force, Oxford served as a captain in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He served in northern Thailand as the war in Vietnam escalated. It was in the Air Force he first acquired a love for flying and attained his pilot's license shortly after being discharged.

"I don't do too much flying anymore," he said with a faint smile. "I traveled extensively throughout East Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana during my career and it seems that every small town had a municipal airport. It was much more convenient to fly rather than drive to court appearances."

Oxford began his legal career in Beaumont as a briefing attorney to U.S. District Judge Joe Fisher for the Eastern District of Texas and served as assistant district attorney for Jefferson County in 1967. He joined the Benckenstein firm in 1967 and was named managing partner in 1975, primarily litigating admiralty and maritime cases. He continues to litigate and is currently serving as general counsel for the Lower Port Neches Valley Authority and the Jefferson County Waterway and Navigation District.

His service to Texas and Lamar University are evidenced by his appointment by Texas governor Dolph Briscoe as a regent for the Lamar University System in 1979. He resigned the post as a regent in 1984 at the request of Texas governor Mark White to accept another state post on the Texas Air Control Board. He maintained his ties to Lamar, however, as general counsel for the Lamar University System.

Several state agencies and legal organizations have benefited from Oxford's leadership and expertise over the years. He served as chairman of the Clean Air Study Committee for Texas' 60th Legislature from1985 to1986, the Texas Government Reorganization Committee as a member from 1987 to 1988, Board of Directors of the State Bar of Texas, State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, Rules Committee Civil Justice Reform Act, Advisory Committee for Eastern District of Texas, Texas Oil Spill Commission. He was appointed by Gov. Ann Richards to the Texas Board of Registration for Professional Engineers in 1994.

Humility consumes Oxford when asked about his feelings about being named a Southeast Texas legend.

"I'm no more a legend than a lot of other people. I consider myself a representative of many people who try to help others and help the community," he said. "I certainly feel honored to be selected to have this scholarship named for me, but there were many other folks who could have also been given this honor."

He has left his mark on the Southeast Texas landscape by working to incorporate many small towns around Beaumont including China, Lumberton, Nome and West Jefferson and helped these communities receive municipal water and sewer services. Oxford continues to be engaged in community activities by serving as a member of the board of directors for the Neches River Festival. He has also served Jefferson County as a board member for Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School and president of the Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School Foundation, a member of the Beaumont Rotary Club and as director of Ducks Unlimited.

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