A. B. Culvahouse’s legal expertise has helped political leaders make Supreme Court nominations, pick vice presidential candidates, and write treaties. Now, he can add “Accomplished Alumni” to his list of achievements.
Friday, the former White House counsel was honored by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with an Accomplished Alumni award. The Accomplished Alumni program recognizes notable alumni for their success and distinction within their field.
“A.B. got his start serving as chief legislative assistant and counsel to Senator Baker so it is fitting that we honor his service at the Baker Center,” said Matt Murray, director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.
Culvahouse, a 1970 business administration graduate, is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in the fields of politics and law. His rise to prominence began with his service to Senator Baker and later as counsel to President Ronald Reagan from 1987 to 1989, when he advised on matters such as the Iran-Contra investigations, Supreme Court nominations of Robert Bork and Anthony Kennedy and legal aspects of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In 1989, Reagan awarded Culvahouse the Presidential Citizens Medal, which recognizes citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for the country or their fellow citizens.
Currently, Culvahouse chairs O’Melveny and Myers, an international law firm.
He joins a variety of outstanding alumni who have been featured through the Accomplished Alumni program, including CEOs of major corporations, Olympians, authors, artists, musicians, US ambassadors and civic leaders.
The award was given by Murray during a presentation where Culvahouse spoke to students within the Baker Center learning community about leadership outside of one’s comfort zone.
“Coming back to the University of Tennessee is always a pleasure, especially when I am able to interact with students,” Culvahouse said. “This university afforded me the opportunity to meet lifelong mentors, who helped launch my career, and to now be invited to relate some of my experiences and observations to these inspiring students and future leaders is a privilege.”
In 1990 Culvahouse was appointed by then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney to serve on the Committee of Nuclear Failsafe and Risk Reduction. In 1992, Cheney awarded him the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. He also has served as chair of the Interagency Lawyers Committee on War Powers and the President’s Committee on Federal Judicial Nominations.
Culvahouse has served on numerous other boards and commissions, including on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Intelligence Oversight Board, the Nuclear Command and Control System Federal Advisory Committee and the Supreme Court Fellows Commission.
He received his law degree from New York University in in 1973.
To view other Accomplished Alumni, visit the UT Alumni website.
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