The Burck and Sandra Bailey Scholarship in Law

September 5, 2013

Burck and Sandra Bailey

The University of New Mexico School of Law is proud to announce the establishment of the Burck and Sandra Bailey Scholarship in Law.

The newly established need-based scholarship fund provides that a preference shall be given for Native American applicants and applicants demonstrating leadership in Hispanic or African American communities. In establishing the fund, Burck and Sandra Bailey have said, "We wish to empower these young people with the knowledge and skills provided by a legal education. We believe that thereby, they will help to advance New Mexico as a land of opportunity for all of its citizens".

Former law school Dean Kevin K. Washburn, who left the law school in the fall of 2012 to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, initiated the law school’s relationship with the Baileys, drawing on his experiences with Mr. Bailey at the University of Oklahoma.

"When I was graduating from college, Burck Bailey was the President of the Oklahoma Bar. He was as inspiring to me as the fictional Atticus Finch, and even more so, because he was a real person in my community. His example helped draw me to the law", said Assistant Secretary Washburn. The School of Law and the University are deeply grateful to the Baileys for their generosity, and for their willingness to not only to provide life-changing resources to its law students, but for the wonderful example they set as friends and stewards of New Mexico’s only law school.

Recipients of the award will be named annually by the law school beginning with the class of 2016. Ultimately, the fund for the Burck and Sandra Bailey Scholarship in Law will be endowed by the Baileys. A planned gift, estimated by the Bailey’s to be well in excess of a million dollars, will be used to endow the fund as part of the couple’s estate planning.

About Sandra and Burck Bailey

Sandra Bailey was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Garden City, Kansas. While attending Ft. Hays State University, she was elected Miss Hays and was a contestant in the State of Kansas Beauty Pageant. Following graduation from college, she was an elementary school teacher. Sandra and Burck were married and moved to Oklahoma City. Sandra was the first woman to be elected President of the Oklahoma Zoological Society and served as President of the Oklahoma Country Bar Auxiliary.

Burck Bailey was born in Vinita, Oklahoma. After receiving the Oklahoma Honor Scholarship, he graduated cum laude from Westminster College of Missouri. Burck completed two years in the U.S. Army and later graduated a Root-Tilden Scholar (of which there were only twenty in the United States) from the New York University School of Law. Burck has served as Assistant Attorney General of Oklahoma, President of the Oklahoma Bar Association, Chairman of the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission and has been described by his peers as, "the best trial lawyer in the state". Burck is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, has appeared three times before the United States Supreme Court and was one of the early inductees into the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

After living in Oklahoma City for many years, Sandra and Burck acquired Breeze Hill Ranch near the town of Chandler, Oklahoma, where they raised Longhorn cattle and Quarter horses. Sandra served as President of the local museum, and was a board member of numerous civic organizations. Sandra and Burck were frequent visitors to Santa Fe throughout their lives, and when Burck retired from the practice of law, they moved permanently to Santa Fe. In their own words, Burck and Sandra lead lives of devotion to one another and are motivated to make a difference in their adopted state of New Mexico where they enjoy travel, the out-of-doors, literature, music and creatures great and small.