Honoring the Past,
Building the Future

Judge Alvin L. Zimmerman
(’64, J.D. ’67)
starts an endowed scholarship
at the University of Houston
Law Center

Judge Alvin Zimmerman (’64, J.D. ’67) remembers a professor challenging him to support worthy causes in his early days in law. Yet, Zimmerman felt that he was too young to be a donor.

“When I said that I could only afford a dollar or two for this particular cause, the person looked at me and said, ‘There's no such thing as an amount too small for a cause that is righteous and a cause that will help others.’ And I kept those thoughts in mind. Susie (his wife) shares those beliefs with me, and that's kind of our beginning to all of this.”

Zimmerman grew to understand that he didn’t get to his position in life without the help of some accomplished, caring people. It’s because of the support he received that he feels moved to pay that favor forward by establishing the Alvin & Susie Zimmerman Endowed Scholarship at the University of Houston Law Center.

 “I learned from giants in the legal profession and in academia,” Alvin Zimmerman said. “I mean, it was like sitting at the foot of the masters. If not for those experiences, I would not be here today.”

Zimmerman with his two sons: Brian Zimmerman (L) and Gary Zimmerman (R)

Zimmerman with his two sons: Brian Zimmerman (L) and Gary Zimmerman (R)

Zimmerman believes that as the University of Houston and the Law Center gain increasing national acclaim, there also comes responsibility and obligation.

“The University has undergone a lot of positive changes with President [Renu] Khator’s leadership, her dynamic system and her work with the state legislature," Zimmerman said. “This places our Law Center at the top of the heap, getting us to a place where we can be better recognized as a leading institution. [We’re] grateful for how far we’ve come, and we’re looking forward to moving even further. I know that our admission requirements have been increased and it shows.

“I started law school when the Law Center was 13 years old. I knew every dean that the Law Center had, either through academic association . . . or because I was there even after I graduated. Each of the deans that served me in the Law Center was inspirational, and I thought they were just incredible role models. Both the Law Center and I were fortunate to have them.”

Judge Zimmerman remembers clearly how challenging it was to attend law school while raising a family.

“Susie became a teacher and helped put me through law school, so we feel there's kind of a meeting of the concepts of obligation.”

Zimmerman with his wife Susie Zimmerman ('64)

Zimmerman with his wife Susie Zimmerman ('64)

“Our respective educations have placed us in a position where we could give back to the school, [and particularly] to the Law Center. We hope that it will help inspire new students as well as other alums to consider doing the same.”

Receiving letters of appreciation from scholarship recipients who share how the scholarship has changed their lives has deeply touched the Zimmermans.

“It is such a joy to hear from them,” Zimmerman said. “Knowing that we’ve made an important contribution to someone’s career goals and understanding that the scholarship allowed them to complete their education is all the reward I need.”

Among his many accolades, Hon. Alvin L. Zimmerman was managing editor of the Houston Law Review and has served as judge in the Houston Municipal Court and Harris County District Courts. He was a briefing clerk for federal Judge Joe Ingraham and a Texas assistant attorney general prior to being general counsel to a publicly traded company. He received the University of Houston Outstanding Alumnus Award and UH Law Center Dean’s Award. Also, he served as president of the UH Law Center Alumni Board, UH Law Foundation Board and the UH Law Review Foundation Board. He continues to serve on those boards.