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Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Award

These outstanding graduates demonstrate a sustained dedication to the values of justice, ethics and integrity through distinguished professional accomplishments. Distinguished alumni are nominated by School of Law graduates.

Click here to learn more about recipients prior to 2000.

Mark Kitrick ’81, 2022 Recipient

Long before he became an accomplished trial attorney, Mark Kitrick had a passion for serving others. In fact, while toiling in multiple blue-collar jobs to finance his high school, college and law school education, Kitrick spent his spare time assisting in nursing homes and volunteering with the underprivileged and poor.

The work ethic instilled in him as a youth and his empathy for others have served as crucial catalysts for a distinguished legal career spanning four decades. He is respected as a foremost authority on personal injury law who advocates tirelessly on behalf of clients as they navigate through the legal system. Kitrick’s compassion has earned him the respect of more than 10,000 clients that he has served.

As president of Kitrick, Lewis & Harris, Co. LPA in Columbus, OH, the 1981 University of Dayton School of Law graduate is devoted to those who need him the most. His leadership skills have made an impact nationally and statewide. Kitrick has represented Ohio as a member of the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice since 2008, serving multiple committee assignments including three terms as Budget Committee Chair.

In 2020, Kitrick served a term as president of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and also as president of the American Board of Trial Advocates – Ohio Chapter. His numerous accolades include being listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” for more than 20 years, “Best Law Firm” by the U.S. News & World Report and a three-time recipient of the “Above & Beyond Award” from the American Association for Justice. In 2019 and in 2022, he was listed among the “Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers” and “Top 50 Columbus Super Lawyers.” He is also past president of several other national, county and state organizations and associations.

Kitrick’s generosity has also benefited his alma mater. He and his wife, Java, established the Mark and Java Kitrick Scholarship in 2014. The couple has also supported various School of Law and University initiatives over the years, including the Magna Carta and Federalist Exhibition in 2015. He has also lectured at the UD Law School on advance trial techniques and neuroscience.

In addition to his humanitarian work as a servant for multiple volunteer organizations, Kitrick enjoys playing and composing music-he has 3 albums currently, teaching martial arts and self defense for more than 40 years, writing and lecturing, and performing pro bono work. 

Dale Riedel '04, 2020 Recipient

Dale Riedel has held a variety of roles in his more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force. Riedel was a senior military prosecutor for the Military Commissions, prosecuting suspected and accused Al Qaeda members for war crimes in violation of International Humanitarian Law. Riedel’s career also includes a tour of duty in Afghanistan. As a Staff Judge Advocate there, he oversaw all legal aspects of the only Air Expeditionary Wing directly employing air power in the war from within the war zone. Riedel later became Chief of the Los Angeles Regional Office, representing the Air Force in litigation involving appeals to the Merit Systems Protection Board and complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Justice (Ret.) Elizabeth McClanahan '84, 2017 Recipient

Elizabeth McClanahan ‘84, is currently the CEO of the Virginia Tech Foundation, a position she took in June 2021. Prior to that she was the President and Dean of the Appalachian School of Law.

Elizabeth also served as a member of the Supreme Court of Virginia from 2011-2019. She previously served on the Virginia Court of Appeals for 8 years until her election to the Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Court of Appeals she was the chief deputy in the Virginia Attorney General’s office. She was also a partner at the law firm of Penn, Stuart and Eskridge in Abingdon, Virginia. She is an expert in natural resources law focusing on natural gas, coal and oil issues.

She has received numerous civic awards, including the YMCA tribute to women Award for Volunteer Community Service and the Virginia 4-H Foundation alumni award. She has served as the former chair of the State council of Higher Education for Virginia and the vice rector at William and Mary, her undergraduate alma mater.

Judge McClanahan graciously returned to UDSL for commencement exercises in 2012 and shared her life's journey with the law school graduating class.

Deborah Hagan '81, 2016 Recipient

Deborah Hagan began a long and highly successful career as an Assistant Attorney General with the Illinois Attorney General's office after graduating from Dayton Law in 1981. Hagan is currently the Division Chief of the Consumer Protection Division, and is widely known by consumer advocates as the leading Consumer Protection Attorney in the nation.

Hagan has been the lead attorney in many major multi-state actions, recovering billions of dollars in restitution for victims of consumer fraud. After helping to secure a landmark 25 billion dollar settlement in an action filed on behalf of 49 states for foreclosure servicing fraud, she was honored by the U.S. Department of Justice with a Distinguished Service Award. Other recent legal actions, filed jointly with many other state Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Justice, were settled under her leadership, recovering billions for consumers nationwide.

In addition to her unprecedented litigation success, Hagan has testified before Congress, taught numerous CLE seminars, authored a book on Illinois Consumer Protection and led numerous committees, task forces and annual conferences for the National Association of Attorneys General. Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, describes Debby as a tremendous public servant, a tireless advocate on behalf of consumers, and one of the top consumer protection lawyers in the country, with extraordinary expertise and experience.

Honorable Anthony Capizzi '79, 2015 Recipient

Judge Anthony 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.

Judge Capizzi received his B.A. from Saint Bonaventure University in 1976 and his J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1979. He was admitted to the Ohio and Federal Bars in 1979. Judge Capizzi graduated from Leadership Dayton in 1989.

Judge Capizzi serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Judicial College, as Chair of the Ohio Juvenile Judges Curriculum Committee, and as Past President of the Ohio Juvenile Court Judges Association. The Ohio Supreme Court continues to appoint Judge Capizzi to serve on advisory committees and special judicial assignments in other Ohio Counties.

Nationally, Judge Capizzi serves as a Director of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (“NCJFCJ”). He was elected Treasurer of the NCJFCJ on July 5, 2014, and serves on the Executive Committee and the NCJFCJ’s Juvenile Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Project Advisory Committee. He has over the last seven years served as Chairman of the Audit Committee, Vice-Chair of the Juvenile and Family Law Advisory Committee and Audit Committee. In addition, Judge Capizzi served as a member of the Executive Committee’s Guiding Coalition, Finance, Governance, Legislative and Diversity Committees. He has also served as faculty member at multiple NCJFCJ conferences.

Kermit F. Lowery ’84, 2014 Recipient

Kermit Lowery was nominated due to his exceptional service to the legal community, both as a civilian and military officer.  Lowery received a direct commission as an Army JAG Corps officer after graduating from the School of Law and spent a total of 39 years combined active and reserve military duty. He is currently employed as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for LexisNexis and is responsible for licensing content to be included in their online services.

Dean Paul McGreal presented the award saying, “Volunteering is a part of Kermit’s life.  He recently completed his term as President of the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, where he devoted his time to handling mostly domestic cases, and would handle 10 – 20 cases per year.  He also participates in our Law and Leadership Institute here at the Law School, where 8th grade through high school aged students come to learn about the law.  He encourages them to attend college and become inspiring community leaders.”

Lowery has also participated in the Wills for Heroes program that writes wills for police and firemen.  He has served as Second Vice President on the Board of Trustees for the Dayton Bar Association (DBA) and is the Board Liaison for the Juvenile and Law & Technology committees.  He will become President of the Dayton Bar Association in 2015. 

It was also announced that the American Bar Association has selected Lowery for the 2014 Pro Bono Publico Award.  Each year the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service presents five awards to individual lawyers and institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.  Lowery will be honored for his service at the annual ABA meeting in Boston in August.

McGreal said, “Kermit is a wonderful example of what the University of Dayton and the School of Law stand for, to learn, lead and serve.  He is an example of what our alumni have given through their talent and time to the community.  It is my honor to present Kermit Lowery with the Distinguished Alumni Award.”

Wayne E. Waite ’82, 2013 Recipient

Wayne Waite graduated cum laude from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1982 and was the Associate Editor of the Law Review while there. Waite is currently a managing partner of Freund, Freeze & Arnold with a focus on business litigation, employment law, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, pharmacy liability worker's compensation and nursing home defense. He is also certified as a senior professional in human resources.

Waite also incorporated Shoulder to Shoulder, a private, non-profit, non-governmental entity in Honduras, in 1996. The mission of this organization is to develop educational and health programs for the poor. Shoulder to Shoulder has opened two small hospitals and ten medical centers, providing healthcare to more than 30,000 destitute individuals who would otherwise be without medical services. The Mathile Institute for the Advancement of Human Nutrition, along with more than ten universities, partnered with Waite and Shoulder to Shoulder to replicate this program in other poor regions and countries. Waite's model has been adopted by the University of Kentucky with their Ecuadorian and Tanzania projects.

Dean Paul McGreal said this when presenting Waite with the Distinguished Alumni Award, "People wonder why Wayne is so focused on the healthcare of indigents, and according to his nomination, Wayne's answer to this question is humbling. 'When I went to law school, I thought I would help people no one else would standup for. Shoulder to Shoulder helps those in extreme poverty who otherwise would not be helped. The training I received at UDSL helps make it happen.'"

Dean McGreal went on to say, "Wayne exemplifies the Marianist values of 'learn, lead and serve.' He is a graduate who has taken those values and lives them everyday. We are all very proud of the work he has done and continues to do. He is a shining example for his colleagues, the students, faculty and staff of UDSL, and for the Dayton community."

Mary Lynn Readey '87, 2012 Recipient

A 1987 graduate of the School of Law, Mary Lynn Readey is associate vice president of facilities operations and development at The Ohio State University. She is responsible for strategic and operational aspects of major components of the university’s physical environment, including general renovation and construction, contract administration, custodial, maintenance and landscape services; environmental health and safety; utilities; energy services and sustainability; roads and grounds; and real estate operations.  

Readey originally joined Ohio State in 2005 as deputy general counsel in the Office of Legal Affairs.  

When she received her award, Readey thanked the Alumni Association and the University of Dayton School of Law, which, she said, “admitted me, taught me and have me the opportunity to fulfill one of my life’s goals.”  

Prior to joining Ohio State, Readey served as executive director of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, the state agency devoted to construction of K-12 school buildings, and as assistant attorney general of Ohio. Previously, she was in private practice in Dayton.  

As a student at the School of Law, she was editor-in-chief of the University of Dayton Law Review.  

Readey received her B.A. in economics from Southeast Missouri State University in 1975 and a second degree in economics from the University of Vermont in 1984. In between, she served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force and in the Air Force Reserves.  

She also has served as president of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and on the boards of the Columbus and Dayton Bar Associations and the Franklin County Legal Aid Society.

Terry Miller '77, 2011 Recipient

Terry Miller is the general counsel of the London 2012 Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games. She heads a legal team responsible for providing advice on all aspects of the Olympics¿ operations, including how to meet the terms of the Host City Contract with the International Olympic Committee, implementation of sponsorship and supply contracts and protection of the London 2012 brand.

Before joining the London Olympics in 2006, Terry spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, where she was a partner and served as international general counsel of Goldman Sachs International. Before that she was a partner in the law firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart. She began her career with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she was a branch chief in the enforcement division.

In 2006, Terry was selected as Legal Week's General Counsel of the Year.

Professor Emeritus Dennis Turner accepted the Distinguished Alumni Award on Miller's behalf. You can read more about Miller in the Winter 2010 issue of the Dayton Lawyer.

D. Jeffery Ireland '80, 2010 Recipient

Jeff Ireland, a founding partner at Faruki Ireland & Cox of Dayton, has been trying business cases for almost 30 years and has represented clients in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He specializes in competition and business litigation relating to advertising, antitrust and employment.

He graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980, and received a B.A. in economics and history from Denison University in 1976. A loyal supporter of the School of Law, Jeff helped establish the Faruki Ireland & Cox Scholarship in 1999.

A native of Dayton, Jeff has been recognized each year since its inception as an Ohio Super Lawyer. He has been recognized annually as one of the Best of the Bar based on a survey conducted by the Dayton Business Journal. He is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He has written articles for publication and is a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education programs on various subjects relating to commercial litigation. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Antitrust Section of the Ohio State Bar Association and speaks frequently at Section seminars on antitrust and competitive issues.

He has been active in the local community as a master of the Carl D. Kessler Inn of Court, a member of the board of the Dayton Corps of the Salvation Army and as chair of the Dayton Opera Association board. He served as mayor of the city of Oakwood, Ohio for 10 years and as a member of the Oakwood city council for 12.

James Kelleher '79, 2009 Recipient

Jim Kelleher is an attorney at Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling, where he practices in the areas of defective product liability, plaintiff personal injury, and civil litigation.

After graduating from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1979, Jim served as municipal prosecutor for the Village of New Lebanon, Ohio. He is also a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

Jim is a member of the Dayton and Ohio State Bar Associations, a trustee and past president of the Miami Valley Trial Lawyers Association, and a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He is a trustee of the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project and a member and past president of the DBA Inns of Court. An adjunct professor at the law school since 1988, Jim is also a seminar lecturer for the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Jim has been very active in his support of the School of Law, serving on the Keller Hall Building Capital Campaign and also on the Class of 1979's 30-year reunion committee.

Walter Reynolds '78, 2008 Recipient

Walter Reynolds is partner-in-charge of the firm's Dayton, Ohio office and has developed an excellent reputation representing brokerage firms, banks, insurance companies, savings and loan associations and other financial institutions. As a partner in the firm, he has handled many construction disputes representing owners, contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law and is recognized by Ohio Super Lawyers.

He received his B.A. from Wilberforce University and his J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1978. 

He is a former president of the Dayton Bar Association. He received the 2011 Joseph Cinque Award from the University of Dayton School of Law's Black Law Students Association.

Judge Mary Kate Huffman '90, 2007 Recipient

Mary Kate Huffman is a judge for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. She is the chair of the Judicial Personnel Committee and serves on the Judicial Executive and Civil Practice Committees. Since 2007, Judge Huffman has presided over the Common Pleas Court's Drug Court, and previously presided over the court's Non-Support Court from 2005-2006.

She was previously a lawyer at Huffman, Lendis & Weaks Co., LPA, and also served as special counsel to the Ohio attorney general.

Judge Huffman received her B.A. in political science from Wright State University and her J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1990.

She is an active member of the School of Law Alumni Association, and in 2010, was elected the president of the Alumni Association. She enthusiastically helps with alumni volunteer recruitment and Alumni Weekend.

She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Dayton School of Law and Capital University and has taught continuing legal education seminars for the Dayton Bar Association and the Family Law Forum. As an adjunct professor, she is a favorite among students. Dayton Law alumni have called her "extremely welcoming and accepting," saying she "provides exceptional guidance and inspiration."

She is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Dayton Women's Bar Association, and the Dayton Bar Association, where she is on the Criminal Law and Civil Practice Committees. Judge Huffman is also a member of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association and serves on the Criminal Justice Council Domestic Violence Subcommittee for the Inns of Court. Outside the legal arena, Judge Huffman is president of the Miami Valley Youth Soccer Association and vice president of the Ohio South Youth Soccer Association.

Hon. Mary Donovan '77, 2006 Recipient

Judge Donovan was elected to the Second District Court of Appeals in November, 2005, after serving 10 years with the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, General Division.

Judge Donovan was born in Louisville in 1950, raised in Cincinnati, where she attended Seton High School. Judge Donovan received her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1973 and her J.D. from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1977.

Prior to judicial service, Judge Donovan was in the private practice of law from 1993-1995 with the firm of Allbery, Cross, Fogarty and Tuss.  She was with the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office from 1990-1993; the City Law Department, City of Cincinnati Prosecutor’s Office from 1989-1990; Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office 1979-1988; and the LakeCounty Public Defender’s Office from 1978-1979.

In 1988-1989, Judge Donovan took a sabbatical from private practice and taught Navajo and Apache children at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission in Thoreau, N.M., and assisted in legal action regarding water rights on the reservation.

Judge Donovan serves on the Ohio Jury Instructions Editorial Board as president of the Board of the Dayton Volunteer Lawyer’s Project. She is a member of the Dayton Bar Association and serves on the Congeniality Committee, Eikenbary Trust Committee, and Criminal Law Committee. Judge Donovan also serves on the University of Dayton School of Law Alumni Board, the Prison Advisory Board, and Power Net, a prison re-entry program. Her past activities include: secretary of the Government Access Advisory Board; volunteer with the St. Joseph’s Treatment Center for Children; Secretary for the COPE Halfway House, president of the Dayton Bar Association, and second vice president of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association.

Michael B. Coleman '80, 2005 Recipient

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman took office on January 1, 2000. Since then, he has actively worked to change the way the City of Columbus partners with community leaders, residents, and businesses to build safe, strong neighborhoods, deliver basic services, and attract jobs.

Some of Mayor Coleman's accomplishments include implementing a 10-year business plan for creating a more vibrant downtown, launching the "Neighborhood Pride" program, creating and funding the Columbus Urban Growth Corporation, creating Columbus' first Office of Education, and launching several Health Education efforts.

Mayor Coleman earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1977 and his law degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1980. Prior to becoming mayor, he served as a Columbus City Council member (1992-99), and as president of Columbus City Council (1997-99).

Hon. John M. Durkin '83, 2004 Recipient

John M. Durkin has been a judge in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas since 1997. Prior to his election he was in private practice, handling medical malpractice, personal injury, and criminal defense litigation. Judge Durkin is a past president of the Mahoning County Bar Association, past chairperson for the Certified Grievance Committee, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Bar Association.

Judge Durkin established the Mahoning County Felony Drug Court and continues to preside over the court along with his regular docket. That program has been recognized as a Mentor Court by the United States Department of Justice. The Mahoning County Bar Association selected him as Lawyer of the Year in 1997. He has received the Community Corrections Association Public Service Award, the Community Service Award from TASC, and the Peace Award from the Mayors Task Force on Crime and Violence.

A graduate of the University of Dayton, Judge Durkin received both his Bachelor of Arts and his Juris Doctor from the college. He has served on the faculty of the Ohio Judicial Conference and currently sits on their Executive Committee. Judge Durkin has lectured for the Mahoning County and Ohio State Bar Associations, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and the Ohio Judicial Conference.

Gary Schaengold '81, 2003 Recipient

Gary Schaengold, a partner at Eilerman, Schaengold & Donahue and a magistrate for the Fairborn, Ohio, Municipal Court, has had many opportunities to make the University of Dayton School of Law proud. A longtime UDSL volunteer, he is a past president and secretary of the alumni association, where he also has chaired the communications committee that created a liaison position on the law school's advisory council, effectively opening up communication between the two groups. "In the early 1980s, the alumni association was a fledgling organization," Mr. Schaengold said. "We have grown in the number of people who are actively involved, which has enabled committees to provide more assistance to the school. We've become a successful and functional organization." Mr. Schaengold now serves on the UDSL Advisory Council.

With his time divided between his duties as a magistrate and his general practice, Mr. Schaengold, who also serves as treasurer and member of the board of trustees of the Dayton Bar Association, said that he doesn't get bored. Described as a renaissance man when he was featured as Barrister of the Month in "Dayton Bar Briefs," Mr. Schaengold is currently the treasurer and member of the Board of Trustees of the Dayton Bar Association. With his wife, Anita, he co-hosts "Simply Trivia," a monthly call-in radio show on WYSO 91.3 FM.

Harry Beyoglides '78, 2002 Recipient

When Harry Beyoglides reflects on his decision to become a lawyer, he recalls thinking that practicing law would be a good profession in which to help people. Several decades later, with his law firm Johnson, Douple, Beyoglides & Leve in Dayton, he is not disappointed.

After graduating from the University of Dayton School of Law, Mr. Beyoglides remained active in the school's Alumni Association, serving as president for six years. While president, Mr. Beyoglides judged moot court proceedings and raised funds for the construction of Joseph E. Keller Hall. He also took part in developing an interfaith prayer service, which invites people of Dayton's law community once a year to join together in worship.

Thrilled with his entire experience with UDSL, Mr. Beyoglides finds it difficult to single out an activity or event as most memorable or fulfilling. However, he is honored and humbled by the school's offering him the Special Appreciation Award in 1999 for service to the law school and this 2002's Distinguished Alumnus Award for his practice in law and his giving to the school and the community. "I'm very honored," he said. "But I don't think this is an award just for me. It's more like a team award."

Steve Yuhas '85, 2001 Recipient

Steve Yuhas received his undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Dayton in 1982 before receiving his law degree three years later. He has been practicing law in Dayton for over 25 years and specializes in Plaintiff's Worker's Compensation, Personal Injury, Divorce, Juvenile Court work and Criminal Law. Steve is currently practicing with Thorson, Switala, Mondock and Snead "of counsel". He served as president of the Alumni Association from 2002 to 2010.

Dennis Lieberman '78, 2000 Recipient

A graduate of Miami University, where he received his undergraduate degree, and the University of Dayton, where he received his law degree, Dennis Lieberman is a partner at Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim. He is also the chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. Mr. Lieberman has judged moot court competitions, spoken to student groups, and helped with class reunions for the School of Law. He was also a member of the 1996 Electoral College for Ohio.


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