Former Board Chair Receives National Devitt Award
Carolyn King, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and former chair of University of St. Thomas’ Board of Directors from 1994 to 1998 has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award. King was chosen by a three-member panel chaired by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; other members of the panel are Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; and Judge Gerard E. Lynch, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York.
In his nomination letter, Chief Judge Michael Boudin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, said: "Judge King has been an outstanding chief judge of her own circuit, almost legendary in her devotion to its needs. In her leadership of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference, she has been the single most important figure in the [federal] judiciary in guiding the courts through the financial crisis of the last several years."
In a 2004 address, Judge King said: "I have always believed that lawyers ... are obligated to tithe their time and to devote a generous portion of their abilities on a continuous basis to the service of other persons and their community." She has lived her life in the law in full accord with that belief. Her selfless devotion to the public good through legal, civil, and charitable ventures is among the reasons the selection panel chose her, unanimously, for the Devitt Award.
“Judge King greatly deserves this prestigious award,” said University of St. Thomas President Robert Ivany. “St. Thomas is fortunate to have her as a longtime friend and advocate. She was an outstanding board chair and gave selflessly of her time and talent.”
The Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award is named for the late Edward J. Devitt, longtime chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. The award, made annually, honors Article III judges whose careers have been exemplary, measured by their significant contributions to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of society as a whole. It is administered by AJS with funding provided by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, Minneapolis. The honor includes $15,000 and is symbolized by an inscribed crystal obelisk. The award will be presented at a ceremony this fall.