St. Mary’s University announced on January 6 that it has welcomed the Hon. Nelson W. Wolff (B.B.A. ’66, J.D. ’66) to lead its community in dialogue and civic engagement discussions as a University Distinguished Service Professor.
Wolff will lecture in undergraduate, graduate and law classes and hold public conversations for students and community members about finding common ground for the common good at a time when our citizenry needs it most. Creating space for this dialogue will reinforce the University’s focus on the Catholic intellectual tradition, which searches for truth through faith, reason and inclusion.
“Without question, Nelson Wolff is one of St. Mary’s most distinguished graduates, whose leadership has brought enduring benefit to the citizens of Bexar County. As University Distinguished Service Professor, Judge Wolff will impart to hundreds of St. Mary’s University students the gentle art of drawing people together to find common ground, common goals and common good,” said Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., St. Mary’s University president. “Our students now and in the coming years are blessed that he is returning home to his alma mater.”
After serving as Bexar County Judge since 2001, Wolff retired from the role at the end of 2022 after leading the county as it navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. He had previously served as Mayor of San Antonio, as a member of San Antonio’s City Council and in the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate.
He will now continue his career of service by sharing knowledge, experience and wisdom with St. Mary’s law, graduate and undergraduate students in the coming years. His appointment began January 1 and will include working with the Provost and Deans across campus to engage students in meaningful and transformative ways.
“I am delighted that St. Mary’s has welcomed me back home to help in whatever way I can to prepare the next generation of St. Mary’s leaders,” Wolff said.
In honor of his educational and legal impact, his name has long graced St. Mary’s University’s Nelson Wolff Law Early Admissions Program, which allows qualified St. Mary’s undergraduate students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from the St. Mary’s School of Law in less time. The University Alumni Association presented Wolff with its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 1996, and the Law Alumni Association honored him with its Distinguished Law Graduate Award in 2001.