Appeals court judge donates papers to SFA research center
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The documents and personal papers of a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge with more than 70 years of civil service will be housed in the East Texas Research Center at Stephen F. Austin State University. 
 
Thomas M. Reavley, a senior judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, has donated his collection to SFA and will be honored during a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at the center. Reavley grew up in Nacogdoches and attended SFA before receiving his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas. After serving as a Navy lieutenant during World War II, he entered Harvard Law School and received his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1948.
 
Reavley began his law career in Dallas, where he served as assistant district attorney. He practiced law in Nacogdoches, Lufkin and Jasper from 1949 to 1955 and served as Nacogdoches county attorney in 1951.
 
Appointed Texas secretary of state from 1955 to 1957, Reavley held a private practice in Austin from 1957 to 1964, and served as a judge for the 167th Judicial District in Austin from 1964 to 1968. In 1968, he was appointed associate judge of the Texas Supreme court by Gov. John Connally and served in this position for nearly a decade before returning to private practice. He served as adjunct faculty for the University of Texas School of Law and has been a featured 
lecturer at the law schools of Baylor, Pepperdine and Texas Tech. In 1979, he was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and received senior status in 1990. He currently resides in Houston with his wife, Carolyn Dineen King, also a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In 2000, King was appointed as a member of the executive committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, which governs the federal court system. King chaired the committee from 2002 through 2005.
 
A gallery at the Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House is named in honor of Reavley's first wife, the late Florence Wilson Reavley, a Nacogdoches native who was a talented painter and sculptor. They were married for 60 years before her death in 2003. The Reavley documents will be preserved and made accessible to the public at the East Texas Research Center, located on the second floor of SFA’s Ralph W. Steen Library. The center houses manuscripts, photographs, maps, books and other primary resources, including oral histories, county records, political papers and the permanent inactive records of the university. It is the official repository for the East Texas Historical Association and the Texas State Genealogical Society. 
 
“The influence of the ETRC reaches beyond our campus and even beyond our state,” said Dr. Richard Berry, SFA provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It holds official papers for a number of East Texas families and well-known personalities. This is a valuable resource to researchers throughout the country.”
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