Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Barefoot  Sanders 
The Honorable

Doctor of Laws  1998
Status: conferred

The Honorable Barefoot Sanders has devoted much of his professional life to public service, beginning as a member of the Texas Legislature and as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas. Moving to Washington, D.C., he worked as assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice during times of critical decision-making that would influence civil rights and equal opportunity for a changing nation. Appointed federal judge for the Northern District of Texas in 1979, he has demonstrated steadfast loyalty to the ideal of an independent judiciary, showing that impartiality as a jurist can be compatible with previous political involvement. Working with community leaders in Dallas, he maintained uncompromising principles as he directed prolonged efforts to desegregate Dallas Public Schools. For his distinguished career as a judge and his contributions to educational opportunities, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Barefoot Sanders the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.