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Ralph Smith Receives Distinguished Friend of Oxford Award
March 11, 2015

Press Release

BIRMINGHAM—Ralph H. Smith II, President and CEO of the Ralph Smith Group LLC, and special counsel at Jones Walker LLP, was recently named a Distinguished Friend of Oxford, one of only a small group of Americans having been honored by the University of Oxford since the creation of the award in 1997.

The Distinguished Friend of Oxford award was initiated as a way to formally recognize individuals who have acted as exceptional volunteers for the benefit of the University, its colleges and departments. Mr. Smith, a "highly valued friend and advisor" in the words of the University Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, was nominated for his "extraordinary support of the Rhodes Trust and the American Trust for Oxford." The formal ceremony will take place in Oxford, England, in June.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Although there is no clear date of foundation, teaching existed at Oxford in some form in 1096 and developed rapidly from 1167, when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. The University is today a global leader in teaching and research, with more than 22,000 students.

About Ralph Smith and the Ralph Smith Group
Ralph Smith, CEO of The Ralph Smith Group and special counsel at Jones Walker LLP, served for almost a decade as General Counsel and a Member of the Chancellor's Senior Policy Staff at The University of Alabama System, where he also taught and advised on international initiatives. A corporate and business transactions lawyer by training, Mr. Smith attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar from 1973-1976 and helped launch in 2012 the Global Innovation Alliance, a consortium of business, government, and academic institutions to promote innovation and economic development. He was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II in 2013 to the Order of St. John, an Order of Chivalry of the British Crown with historical roots in the 11th century Knights Hospitaller and Knights of Malta. 

The Ralph Smith Group LLC (, provides strategic consulting services to business and higher education worldwide.

About Jones Walker
Jones Walker LLP, with approximately 390 attorneys in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, and Texas, provides a comprehensive range of legal services to a national and international corporate client base.