Heritage of Leadership

To permanently honor outstanding and notable alumni of the University of Florida Levin College of Law and their contributions to the state and University, the Law Center Association Board of Trustees established the Heritage of Leadership Recognition Society. The Selection Committee determined the initial classes of inductees, barring exceptional circumstances, would be honored posthumously.

Class of 2015


Gov. Reubin O’D. Askew (1928-2014)

Class of 1956. As prosecuting attorney, state legislator, governor of Florida for eight years, chairman of two federal commissions, and ambassador and member of the president’s Cabinet, Reubin O’Donovan Askew served at every level of American government.

Askew graduated from UF Law in 1956 before entering the military to serve in the US Air Force during the Korean War. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1958 and served two terms before winning a seat in the Florida Senate in 1962.

He served there until his election as Florida’s 37th governor, in 1970, where he advocated tax fairness, racial equality, managed growth and ethical government. The Askew years have been widely characterized as years of achievement, reform, and successful transition for Florida and he is often referred to as one of the 10 greatest American governors of the 20th century.


Sen. Roberta F. Fox (1943-2009)

Class of 1967. A powerful advocate for gender equality, Roberta Fox dedicated her career to fighting for equal protections of rights for otherwise voiceless communities. She earned her bachelor and JD degrees from UF and graduated as one of a handful of women in her class. She entered the law field at a time when women were not taken seriously, and despite being shunned from a few law firms, she began working for Migrant Legal Services, a period that spurred her career in public service.

She eventually opened the Law Offices of Gold & Fox P.A. where she concentrated in the areas of personal injury and employment, family law and civil rights. While practicing, she ran for and won a seat in the Florida House, where she was later re-elected twice. She was then elected to the Florida Senate in 1982. Here, she was instrumental in passing the Florida Equal Education Opportunity Act in 1984 and chaired the Florida Committee on Health and Rehabilitative Services during the mid-1980s.


S. Austin Peele (1938-2011)

Class of 1963. From a young age, Peele knew he wanted to study law and help people tell their stories. He studied English at Wofford College and then went on to receive his JD from UF in 1963. After graduation, he joined Jopling & Darby, which later became Darby & Peele. He practiced in the areas of real estate, land dispute and matters dealing with property rights.

He remained a partner with the firm his entire career and was also involved in the Florida law community. He was one of eight members on the Designation Coordinated Committee that led to the establishment of the Florida Board Certification Plan and served on the board of governors for the Florida Bar. He was also active in the UF Law community as a member of the Law Center Association Board of Trustees.

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