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W. Dudley McCarter '72

We Are Knox...

W. Dudley McCarter ’72

Founding Member, Behr, McCarter & Potter, P.C.

2013 Alumni Achievement Award Winner

Political Science Major


W. Dudley McCarter ’72 has made a career working in Missouri law, focusing
primarily on civil litigation, construction litigation, and municipal law. After graduating cum laude from Knox with a degree in political science, McCarter went on to earn his J.D. degree in 1975 from the University of Missouri in Columbia. In 1992, McCarter helped found Behr, McCarter & Potter, a law firm in Missouri that was recently listed in U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 list of Best Law Firms. McCarter himself has played an active role in his state’s legal system, serving as the president of the St. Louis County Bar Association from 1986 to 1987 and as the president of the Missouri Bar Association from 1993 to 1994.

Additionally, McCarter devotes much of his time to charitable activities, working on the board of the Children’s Trust Fund of Missouri for the Prevention of Child Abuse from 2001 to 2003. He is also on the board of the St. Louis Crisis Nursery and has served on the school board for the Parkway School District, one of the largest districts in Missouri. The Missouri Bar awarded him the Purcell Professional Award in 2001 for his professional and charitable work, and he has received their W. Oliver Rasch Award three times for the Journal of The Missouri Bar’s best article of the year. In addition, his peers selected him to be included in The Best Lawyers in America for the last eight years.

Knox Magazine: Describe your Knox experience.
W. Dudley McCarter: Had I not come to Knox, I probably would have never heard of, and certainly would never have listened to, Dvorak's New World Symphony or Copland's Appalachian Spring. Had I not come to Knox, I never would have studied the complex plant and animal ecosystem at Green Oaks. And I certainly, certainly would not have had the privilege of being in class and listening to Professor John Huston talk about world and national political affairs with such knowledge that you thought you were there when those decisions were made. And along the way, I made a couple of tackles -- not many. Won a couple of wrestling matches -- not many.

KM: How has that experience affected your life?
WM: I believe Knox instilled in me -- and helped me develop -- the ability to reason, think logically, and keep an open mind. These qualities helped both in law school and as I became a practicing attorney. And along the way, I made some special friends. Every time I step foot on campus, I remember all of these great times. I will always be glad to say that I got my education here at Knox, and I will always be proud to say that I'm a graduate.

KM: What do you believe is your most notable achievement?
WM: I’m most proud of serving as the president of the Missouri Bar and chair of the Children’s Trust Fund to Prevent Child Abuse in Missouri.

KM: What will you do to celebrate your Alumni Achievement Award?
WM: I don’t imagine that we’ll do anything special. I’d like to have a nice dinner with my wife and three daughters.

KM: What words of advice would you offer to current Knox students?
WM: Take advantage of the many opportunities available at Knox to broaden your learning experience, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I ask you to look at Old Main and reflect on what Knox means to you. And I think you'll agree with me that it stands and it shines.