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Cooley Law School Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Cooley Law School Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Alumni Association President Jeff G. Haarer presented the Thomas M. Cooley Alumni Association's first Distinguished Service Award in 2000. The Alumni Association established the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) to recognize graduates who excel in supporting the mission of the Law School, who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have honored the legacy of excellence of the Law School. 

Click here to read the criteria for the award and nomination process


Award Recipients 2022

Hon. Timothy G. Hicks (1983 Michael D. O'Hara Class)

Judge Hicks was appointed to the 14th Circuit Court of Michigan in 1996 and was subsequently re-elected to the court in 1998, 2004, 2010, and 2016. During his 26 years on the bench, including six years as the court’s Chief Judge, he managed several thousand criminal and civil cases and presided over more than 250 jury trials. During his career, Judge Hicks served as the President of the Michigan Judges Association, Chair of the Michigan Supreme Court Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, and served as an instructor for the Michigan Judicial Institute. Judge Hicks was one of 12 state court judges who, from 2008 through 2010, piloted innovations in the conduct of jury trials in the state of Michigan. Before his appointment to the Bench, Judge Hicks worked in private legal practice for 13 years and prior to beginning his legal career, he was an educator serving as a teacher, counselor, and coach in two Michigan high schools.

Michael J. Owen (2010 Augusts B. Woodward Class)

Michael Owen has been a staunch supporter and advocate of Cooley Law School, especially of the school’s Tampa Bay campus, at both the local and state level. Mr. Owen has volunteered his time to mentor and offer guidance to Cooley students and recent graduates, including hosting several student externs. Mr. Owen has utilized his legal education and understanding of the law to benefit others and his community through volunteer service as a board member for the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Angel Foundation, My Warriors Place, and Southwest Bank. As a result of his active engagement with important issues in his community, he earned the trust of his fellow citizens to represent them as a County Commissioner.

Previous Recipients

2021 - Jon Cooper (1997 Grant Fellows Class) and Linda Kisabeth (1998 Ernst Snow Class)

2020 - Amy Tripp (1996 Moody, Jr. Class) and Karen Truszkowski (1999 Flannigan Class) 

2019 - Helen Pratt Mickens (1980 Bushnell Class)

2018 - Rosemarie Aquilina (1984 Carr Class) and Janice Cunningham (1986 Mundy Class)

2017 - William D. Cox, III (1990 Witherell Class)

2016 - Hon. Joseph Farah (1979 Wiest Class)

2015 - Lawrence J. Kish (1978 Marston Class)

2014 - Catherine Groll (1992 Montgomery Class)

2013 - Lawrence Patrick Nolan (1976 Cooley Class)

2012 - Thomas C. Rombach (1987 Morse Class)

2011 - No Award Given

2010 - Jane Vandervelde (1986 Mundy Class)

2009 - Jeffrey L. Martlew (1976 Campbell Class)

2008 - Aletha L. Honsowitz (1990 Witherell Class)

2007 - Henry J. Legere, Jr. (1993 Carpenter Class)

2006 - Darryl Parsell (1979 Wiest Class)

2005 - Charles R. Toy (1981 Kavanagh Class)

2004 - James Vlasic (1978 Ransom Class)

2003 - Linda Sutton (1981 Dethmers Class) and Jerry Sutton (1976 Cooley Class)

2002 - No Award Given

2001 - Virginia P. Allen (1982 Wing Class)

2000 - Michelle Reddin (1999 Flannigan Class)