Dayton Law Honors Alumni and Friends at Alumni Weekend

This year's Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Honorable Anthony Capizzi '79 by Dean Paul McGreal. Judge Capizzi serves as a Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge, a position he was first elected to in 2004. From 1998-2002, he served as an Acting Judge for Dayton Municipal Court. Judge Capizzi, known as a workaholic, remains enthusiastic and energetic about working to promote the welfare of children, as has been his trademark throughout his legal career. He is an author, lecturer and active alumnus. "UD is a family," said Capizzi.

Merle F. Wilberding was presented with the Honorable Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award. The Hon. Walter Rice was in attendance to introduce and share Wilberding's many accomplishments, finishing with, "He's just a darn nice guy and a superb human being." Wilberding graciously accept the award, sharing his thoughts on his long term relationship with Dayton Law as "a special law school, a special place and a special honor." He concluded saying, "I will always be the proud owner of volume 1, page 1 of the UDSL Law Review."

Robert E. DeRose '91 received the Steven E. Yuhas Special Service Award. DeRose's work is in the area of wage and hour/overtime violations. He is very active in workers’ rights issues and is the former president of the Ohio Association for Justice, a leading trial organization founded in 1954 protecting consumer access to the Civil Justice System. He is a member of the Board of the American Association of Justice and is involved in his community. In 2012, DeRose designated the School of Law’s Project & Business Ethics as the recipient of the a Cy Pres award of $12,000 and since that time has designated more than $185,000 towards that program, which is laying the foundation for curricular growth.

The Honorable Mary Kate Huffman '90, adjunct professor and president of the School of Law Alumni Association, along with the Student International Law Mission Delegation, were also recipients of the 2015 Steven E. Yuhas Alumni Special Service Award in grateful recognition of their extraordinary mission service to Agua Viva Guatemala. The student delegation included Kesha Brooks, Hillary Fry, Mali Khantrece, Kyle LaBuff, Kendra Lee, Kim Melchor, Jennifer Nicholson, Kathryn Rettich and Kaelynn Smith.

Professor Maureen Anderson received the Dean Francis J. Conte Special Service Award for quietly serving as the site administrator for the Dayton Law and Leadership Institute (LLI) for the past five years. She will be stepping down from this position next year. LLI is a program designed to increase diversity in the legal profession by offering intensive academic and skills-based instruction to many of our community’s most underserved high school students who nevertheless dream of becoming lawyers. Professor Anderson also serves as the faculty advisor for UDSL’s Volunteer Student Law Project, assisting pro se patrons of the law library, and coordinating UDSL’s Pro Bono Service Award. Despite her extensive contributions, she actively avoids the spotlight, instead deferring to her students’ successes, and allowing their accomplishments to reflect positively on the School of Law and the Dayton LLI program.

At the discretion of the president of the Alumni Association, the Honorable Mary Kate Huffman '90, Dean Paul McGreal was awarded the President's Award for his outstanding and remarkable support to the School of Law and its mission. Paul McGreal assumed the leadership of the University of Dayton School of Law in July 2011 at a time when legal education found itself in a very precarious position. Dean McGreal recognized that going forward law schools must make significant changes in order to stay competitive and also to fulfill the needs of students as they traverse through the rigors of legal education and into the practice of law. Dean McGreal accepted the overwhelming responsibility and ushered Dayton Law into the new era of legal education.

Read more on all 2015 recipients here.

For more information, or to submit a news item, contact Denise Baker, assistant director of communications at the University of Dayton School of Law, at lawcomm@udayton.edu. Or submit your news online here.

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