Jim Orr named vice president for advancement at ACU

Posted May 06, 2014

James M. “Jim” Orr, an attorney whose family roots run four generations deep at Abilene Christian University, has been named his alma mater’s vice president for advancement.

A 1986 ACU accounting graduate, he founded, along with Blair G. Francis (’75), the firm of Francis & Orr LLP in 1994, now known as Francis, Orr & Totusek LLP, with offices in Dallas and McKinney, Texas. Orr concentrates his practice in commercial and business litigation with an emphasis on healthcare, banking and creditor’s rights. In addition to appearing before numerous district courts throughout Texas, he also has presented cases before the Texas Supreme Court, the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Orr also is a professional and court-appointed mediator.

He earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 1989 and was an associate with Strasburger and Price LLP from 1989-93.

Orr will lead the university’s advancement team, which includes professionals in fundraising, alumni and university relations, university events, and the ACU Foundation. Among the current fundraising priorities for Abilene Christian are the $75 million Vision in Action initiative to build three science buildings and two athletics stadiums on campus, and a Partnering in the Journey campaign to raise additional endowed scholarship funds for students. He replaces Phil Boone (’83), who entered private business last year.

“Jim is a respected attorney and leader who loves the university and has built a strong network of friends and supporters among the ACU community,” said president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91). “At the same time, he has contacts throughout the business world that will serve him well in this role that is so strategically important to the continued growth of the university. We are so pleased Jim is joining our team.”

“I am thrilled and thankful to be a part of the great work of Abilene Christian,” said Orr, who will begin to transition out of his law practice into his new role this summer. “I feel deeply connected to ACU because of the university’s significant impact upon me and my family through multiple generations, and in that sense, it feels like I am coming home.”

Orr was named to the university’s Board of Trustees in 2002 and has served on the advisory board of ACU’s Duncum Center for Conflict Resolution. He is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, former director and past ADR Section chair of the Collin County Bar Association, and past co-chair of the Judiciary Committee of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers.

His civic involvement includes service as past president of the McKinney Rotary Club and current chair of its foundation. He also is president-elect of the board of North Collin County Habitat for Humanity and a volunteer in the McKinney Independent School District.

Orr’s parents, Robert (’52) and Patsy (Etter ’54) Orr, attended ACU and his maternal grandparents, Frank (’27) and Madge (’27) Etter, were students on the university’s original campus on North First Street. His uncle, Wilson C. “Dub” Orr (’50), was an ACU trustee from 1970-98 and Abilene Christian’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 1995.

He and his wife, Elaine (Rainwater ’87), lead a small group and are on the youth ministry advisory team for the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen. Orr teaches Bible classes and participates in family mission trips, youth ministry events and outreach efforts.

The couple has two children: Caleb, an ACU freshman, and KayAnn, a junior at McKinney North High School.

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