M. David Riggs was born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, where he attended public school until graduating from high school in 1955. He was a three-sport letterman and president of the student body.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Phillips University in 1959, where he majored in English and philosophy, was captain of the baseball team and president of the student body. He earned his master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in 1962.
From 1960 to 1970, David worked at the Tulsa County Juvenile Court, where he was first a counselor for delinquent and neglected children and later an administrator and referee of the court. His passion for helping children guided his decision to attend law school. While working at the Juvenile Court, and attending law school at night, David was instrumental in the establishment of Youth Services of Tulsa (YST). “I wanted to start a youth services bureau in Tulsa because the juvenile court didn’t have a lot of resources for those kids,” Riggs explained. “I wanted to create some way to divert kids out of the judicial system. They weren’t criminals, but they were being treated as if they were.” David became the first chairman of the board at YST, an agency which has provided protective services since that time to more than 300,000 young people.
While at The University of Tulsa College of Law, David was ranked first in his class, served as editor-in-chief of the Tulsa Law Journal, was a member of the Order of the Curule Chair and received numerous American Jurisprudence Awards. During law school, he wrote TV scripts for Callahan Production Company, tutored football players in English, did research and brief-writing for local attorneys and worked full-time as a juvenile court counselor and administrator. David earned his law degree in 1968, and was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar by order of the Supreme Court before taking the bar exam so that he could be appointed juvenile court referee.
David was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1970 and the Oklahoma Senate in 1986. One of the first bills he authored was to change the age at which juveniles could be criminally prosecuted as an adult. At the time, boys could be charged as young as 16 and placed in the adult criminal justice system; girls could not be charged as an adult until the age of 18. David’s legislation required that neither could not be charged until the age of 18.
Other major legislation he authored that became law includes: creation of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission; creation of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, providing for criminal sentencing alternatives, including restitution and community service; establishment of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa medical branch, Alternative Dispute Resolution Act, Oklahoma County Jail Standards Act and Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory (Oklahoma Biological Survey), creation of Office of Child Abuse Prevention within the State Health Department, Oklahoma Guardianship Code, Comparative Negligence Act and Oklahoma Fair Housing Act and Oklahoma Open Records Act.
In 1988, David left the legislature to practice law full time, at the firm he founded with three other TU law alumni in 1972. As the senior partner at Riggs, Abney, Neal, Turpen, Orbison & Lewis, David maintains a general law practice with an emphasis on civil litigation.
He serves on the boards for several public service organizations, including being former board chairman for Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy and the Sutton Avian Research Center. His public service has earned him many honors including awards from the American Civil Liberties Union, Oklahoma Human Rights Commission, Oklahoma Press Association and National Association of Social Workers.
He and his wife, Arleen, will celebrate 60 years of marriage this year. They have five children, Lisa, Eric, Jennifer, Andrea and Aaron; and seven grandchildren.
David’s advice to current law students is straightforward: “Follow what you truly believe is important in life and have a passion for – don’t worry about success. You will have achieved it.
Beverly Kuykendall Smith graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas, Texas, and attended The University of Oklahoma where she graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in Letters. After college, Beverly married and moved to Okmulgee where her three children, David, Stephanie and Amy, were born.
She later decided to attend The University of Tulsa College of Law, where she graduated in the top ten of her class. In 1986, she was honored by the Oklahoma Bar Association as the Top Law Student. Beverly served on the <em>Tulsa Law Journal</em> staff and was also named to the Order of the Curule Chair Honorary Society. She graduated from the College of Law in 1987.
Immediately after graduation from TU, Beverly joined the firm of Conner & Winters, LLP, where she practices in the areas of trusts and estates, guardianships and commercial real estate. Beverly has been recognized by the publication, <em>Best Lawyers of America, </em>as one of the nation’s top attorneys. <strong>“Working with my colleagues at Conner & Winters has been such a blessing in my life, and my legal education at TU provided the foundation to join such a great firm.”</strong>
Beverly is Past President of the Tulsa Title and Probate Lawyers and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Oklahoma Methodist Manor and Tulsa Town Hall. A member of Boston Avenue United Methodist Church, she serves on the Administrative Board and the Board of Trustees, in addition to playing in one of the bell choirs. She also currently serves as the Membership Chair of the Tulsa Area Alumnae Chapter of Chi Omega.
Having become involved in the TU Law Alumni Association soon after graduation, she is Past President of the Law Alumni Board of Directors and currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at TU. Beverly enjoys mentoring law students and participating in mock interviews and other activities at the law school. In addition to supporting them with her time, Beverly supports the law school with gifts to the TU Annual Fund and other scholarship funds at TU. She recently established a planned gift to create a needs-based scholarship endowment fund for full-time law students. Ensuring that a quality TU Law education is accessible to students who might need financial assistance is one of her top priorities.
<strong>“I appreciate the opportunities that I have been given and enjoy giving back.”</strong>
Aside from her church and community activities, Beverly loves spending time with her children and grandchildren, traveling and reading.
Sidney G. Dunagan was born in McLeansboro, Illinois, and attended public school near Salem. In 1953, Sid’s family moved to Tulsa. He graduated from Will Rogers High School, where he lettered in track and cross country.
Sid enrolled in The University of Tulsa in 1961 on a track scholarship, and four years later he completed a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. He was president of the freshman class and the Interfraternity Council, as well as a member, treasurer and president of Pi Kappa Alpha. He was editor of the <em>Greek Times Newsletter</em> and belonged to several honorary scholastic societies. Sid received the Outstanding Liberal Arts Student Award and was on the president’s and dean’s honor roll every semester and graduated with honors.
In 1965, Sid entered The University of Tulsa College of Law. He was named outstanding freshman, junior and senior law student and the Oklahoma Bar Association’s outstanding law student in 1967; served as editor-in-chief of the <em>Tulsa Law Journal </em>and clerked for GableGotwals. <strong>“From my first day in class to the last, law school was competitive and demanding. My studies made it clear to me that to be successful in the legal profession, I would need to apply the same competitive drive and energy I had in law school to the everyday practice of law.”</strong> He graduated from the College of Law in December 1967 and was admitted to the bar in Oklahoma in April 1968.
In the summer of 1968, Sid entered the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps as direct commissioned officer. He served for five years at Fort Knox, Kentucky; Vietnam and Germany. He was awarded two bronze stars for his Vietnam service and a meritorious service medal for his service in Germany.
Upon leaving the military in 1973, Sid joined GableGotwals as an associate and remained with the firm for 45 years, practicing in Tulsa for 22 years and in Oklahoma City for 23 years. His practice focused on civil trials, chiefly business disputes, aviation crashes, professional and product liability, class actions and environmental cases. He served as firm director for more than 20 years and opened the firm’s Oklahoma City office in 1995. <strong>“TU Law gave me a sound legal education on which I have relied throughout my legal career.” </strong>Sid retired from GableGotwals on July 31, 2018.
During his career, Sid was elected to the Oklahoma Bar Association Board of Governors in 1983, was vice president in 1987 and had presidential roles from 1993-1995. He served as state chair for two years for the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, delegate to the American Bar Association, and was elected to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1989. He was president of the Tulsa County Bar Association in 1990, was named their outstanding senior lawyer in 1992, and served as director for the association’s foundation from 1991-1997. The TU College of Law honored Sid as an outstanding senior alumnus twice, in 2005 and 2015.
In his 50-year law career, he practiced in military, federal and state courts. His advice to current TU law students is <strong>“You need the support of your family to be successful, but be sure to support them, too.” </strong>
Sid was married to Lynn Hughes from the time he was a TU undergraduate until she passed away in 2006. For 12 years, Sid has been married to Sherry Wood and they are active in supporting TU law alumni events in Oklahoma City. Sid has two children, Hugh Dunagan and Janna Dunagan Gau (BA ‘94, JD ‘97); two step-children, Wood Kaufman and Quincy Rodebaugh; and five grandchildren. He enjoys traveling and has been to every continent, 50 countries and every state.