Firm president Alan Rhodes was named 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year by Lubbock Christian University. The Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award is given to an alum who has had significant professional and/or personal achievement.
Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
Alan Rhodes and his wife, Robyn (’79), met at LCU as students. Robyn majored in education. She was as assistant superintendent at Bushland ISD and retired as junior high principal for Hereford Independent School District. They have three children and three grandchildren. Avid supporters of their Alma Mater, the couple established the Robyn & Alan Rhodes Educational Scholarship that provides support for students with a special gift in teaching. They also established The Rhodes Family Institute for Undergraduate Research, and have leadership roles in the 2020 Vision Campaign. Alan is a current member of the LCU Board of Trustee and LCU Foundation Board of Trustees.
Alan began his practice of law with Underwood Law Firm in Amarillo immediately following graduation from Texas Tech School of Law in 1983. In the 1990’s, he dedicated his time to a public education practice. Alan focused on healthcare and agriculture in the 2000’s. He served as outside general counsel to Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System in Amarillo. During that time, the Health System merged with a specialty physician hospital, acquired a cancer center, and completed a $60,000,000 addition, all while providing excellent healthcare. In 2011 and 2012 Alan served as part of the seller’s transaction team as the Baptist St. Anthony’s assets were sold to the Ardent group of healthcare companies. Agriculture was the more dynamic business. Working with his partner, Lynn Tate, they helped 25 families move, mostly from Denmark to Texas, southwest Kansas, and eastern New Mexico. These Dutch families, along with families from California, have changed the face of Texas agriculture.
In 2015 and 2016, Alan led the transaction team for the Stan Kroenke acquisition of the Waggoner Ranch and served as lead counsel when the purchase closed in February 2016. The Waggoner is the largest ranch in the United States, under a single fence. Today, Alan is the president of the Underwood Law Firm which is proud to represent over 130 public school districts and several education centers. In addition to the Firm’s public education practice and public finance practice, Underwood facilitates tax limitation agreements, primarily related to the South Plains’ and Panhandle’s developing wind industry.
Alan is not only a successful attorney, he is a great businessman and advisor. He partners with Joe Bob McCartt on commercial real estate transactions, and they currently have syndicated properties with a value of $120,000,000. Alan and partner, Kevin Nelson, are the Texas franchisees of My Place Hotels. They have committed to building 30 Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico hotels. Alan is a past-president of the Amarillo Country Club, the Amarillo College Foundation, the Amarillo Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center, the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Amarillo Advisory Committee, the Rotary Club of Amarillo, and the Texas Association of School Board’s Council of School Attorneys. Alan has also served on the Boards of Directors of Leadership Amarillo, Labor and Employment Opportunities, Inc., the Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo Opera, the Texas Association of School Boards Legal Assistance Fund, and the West Texas A&M University Foundation.