Frances Hardman Goodwin

Frances Hardman Goodwin, 1952

B.A., Denison University
J.D., George Washington University

Citation awarded June, 2002

Frances Hardman Goodwin, class of 1952, has pursued a distinguished career in the law, which began at a time when it was relatively unusual for a woman to choose choose such a career. She has forged a civic leadership role in areas of dispute resolution, alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic violence.

After graduating from George Washington University Law School in 1956, Fran devoted most of her time to raising her four children. Soon after moving with her husband to Dallas in the late 1960s, she became an assistant city attorney, and shortly thereafter she was the first women appointed municipal court judge for the city of Dallas. She served in that capacity for seven years, and for an additional 16 years as a part-time judge. In 1980, Fran began a 15-year tenure with the U.S. Small Business Administration as a lawyer for both the Dallas district and Dallas regional offices.

Not one to rest on her laurels in the legal profession, Fran engaged in volunteer work on behalf of civic and national initiatives. In 1978, she was appointed by President Carter to the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and reappointed by President Reagan, serving more than five years. In addition, she served for six years on the Advisory Council of the Texas State Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, was a mediator for the Dispute Mediation Services in Dallas, and served on the board of directors for the George Washington Law Alumni Association, the Executive High School Internships of America, and various non-profit programs concerned with traffic safety, criminal justice, and mental health issues. For a number of years Fran also was an active participant on committees of the Texas State Bar, the Dallas Bar Association, the American Judges Association, and the Texas Municipal Courts Association. At Denison, she has served as an Annual Fund volunteer and a member of her 50th reunion committee.

Fran is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including the George Washington University Alumni Service Award, SBA Federal Service Award, Outstanding Legal Service Award from the Texas Municipal Judges Association and from the Dispute Mediation Services of Dallas. She was elected as a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. In 1985, Fran was a nominee for the U.S. Congressional Citizenship Award.

Residents of Alberquerque, New Mexico, Fran and her husband George enjoy traveling, visits with their children and four grandchildren, watching hot air balloons, and tending their desert sand and rock garden. Currently, Fran is serving on the board of directors of their neighborhood homeowners association. Fran is the daughter of the late Richard B. and Frances W. Hardman of Massillon, Ohio. Her late aunt Jessie Hardman Winnemore, was a graduate of Denison, class of 1929.