Gallogly Takes Office as OU President

July 2, 2018 | By Melissa Caperton, Director of Communications
OU President James L. Gallogly

Today marks OU Law alumnus James L. Gallogly’s first official day as president of the University of Oklahoma. Gallogly, who graduated from OU Law in 1977, was announced as the university’s 14th president on March 26.

Photo of James L. Gallogly from the 1976 OU College of Law yearbook.
James L. Gallogly, from the 1976 OU College of Law yearbook.

He succeeds 1968 OU Law alumnus David L. Boren, who served as president of OU for over 23 years.

Gallogly is the first-ever CEO from a Fortune500 company to lead the university. He has a distinguished track record in running large, complex organizations and is known as someone who invests in mentoring, inspiring and teaching teams to achieve exceptional results.

Gallogly is a former chairman and chief executive officer of LyondellBasell, which he guided out of bankruptcy and successfully repositioned as one of the world’s largest petrochemical, polymers and refining companies. He also served for 29 years in executive roles with ConocoPhillips, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and Phillips Petroleum Company. His career in the energy business began in northeastern Oklahoma with Phillips in 1980. Prior to that, he practiced law with a private firm in Denver.

Throughout his career, Gallogly has been a steadfast supporter of OU Law. For the last three years, the Gallogly Family Foundation Public Interest Fellowship Program has provided recent OU Law graduates the opportunity to pursue careers in public interest work. In 2016, he was inducted into the college’s Order of the Owl Hall of Fame in recognition of his leadership and service through outstanding career accomplishments.

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What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.



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What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.


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