Montgomery, Jayne Nash 2001

Little Mary Jayne moved onto campus at age 5 and got a front-row seat as her father led the Oklahoma College for Women through much of its glory days, from the Great Depression to World War II. More than 50 years ago, she was the first woman in history to join the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Law School. Today she is one of the most tenured women in the law profession in Oklahoma. This summer, at the age of 80, she married Robert D. Looney, an attorney friend from Oklahoma City. But she refuses to close her practice in Purcell and move there. She practiced law for more than 50 years with her late husband, Henry Mongomery, before his death three years ago.

Nash grew up on the OCW campus, when Her father, Dr. Mel Achilles Nash was selected as the fifth president of the college. Both Jayne Nash and her mother graduated from OCW. Jayne Nash completed her degree in 1942.

After graduation from OCW, Nash went to Washington where she worked for the War Department, and Oklahoma Sen. Josh Lee. Nash returned to Oklahoma and started law school, where she was a member of the first board of editors to the Oklahoma Law Review. She graduated from OU in 1949, and formed a partnership in law -- and life - by marrying attorney Henry Montgomery.

She became the first woman Special Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, serving twice: 1967 and 1978. She was the first woman elected an officer in the Oklahoma Bar Association. She led the Oklahoma Association of Women Lawyers. She is the only woman to have received the Neil Bogan Professionalism Award (1993).

Back to Gallery