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Former county judge to share political experience with local college students

Joey Palacios

Former Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff is sharing his half century of experience in politics and government with students at two local universities, the University of Texas at San Antonio and St. Mary's, his alma mater.

Wolff did not seek re-election as county judge, and his last term ended on Dec. 31.

Wolff will offer insight from his service as a state representative, state senator, city councilmember, mayor and county judge through lectures and talks at UTSA's Carlos Alvarez College of Business, the College for Health, Community and Policy, the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio.

Wolff will also serve as an advisor to the UTSA College for Health, Community and Policy Dean’s Community Lecture series, focused on public policy topics including the economy, transportation, health, affordable housing and other areas.

“After 50 years in public service, I look forward to working with the students, faculty and the leadership at UTSA, sharing what I have learned in my public career and assisting UTSA as it continues to grow as an outstanding Tier One university,” Wolff said.

Wolff represented Bexar County in the Texas House of Representatives from 1971 to 1973 and the Texas Senate from 1973 to 1975. He served on the San Antonio city council from 1987 to 1991 and then as mayor of San Antonio from 1991 to 1995, according to a UTSA news release.

In 2001, he was appointed to Bexar County’s highest-ranking office when then-County Judge Cyndi Taylor Krier resigned to accept an appointment as a regent of the University of Texas System. Wolff was subsequently elected to five full terms as county judge.

Wolff’s role at UTSA will also include collaboration with the UTSA Najim Center for Innovation and Career Advancement on guest speakers and mentors for the university’s student-facing Career-Engaged Learning programs.

Wolff begins his non-faculty position at UTSA this spring. Classes begin on Jan. 17.

In 1966, Wolff graduated from St. Mary’s University with an undergraduate degree and then later with a law degree. He will return to the school as a Distinguished Service Professor.

University officials said he will join lectures with graduate and undergraduate students in the coming years. His appointment began on Jan. 1 and includes 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.

The St. Mary’s University’s Nelson Wolff Law Early Admissions Program 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, university officials said.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Education News Desk, including H-E-B Helping Here, Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation and Holly and Alston Beinhorn.