Alumni Award Recipients

Congratulations to the Honorable Cara Lee Neville ’75 and John Degnan ’76, recipients of this 2015’s outstanding alumni awards

To watch videos that highlight their lives and accomplishments click on their names in the timeline below.

Mitchell honors Neville and Degnan with annual alumni awards

Annual Leadership Dinner in honor of William H. DeParcq

Each year, William Mitchell hosts a leadership dinner in honor of William H. DeParcq, prominent Minnesota personal injury lawyer who died in 1988, to recognize those who make a difference in the lives of our students, our law school, and our community. The event also honors the alumni recipients of The Honorable Warren E. Burger Distinguished Alumni Award and The Honorable Ronald E. Hachey Outstanding Alumni Award.

The Honorable Warren E. Burger Distinguished Alumni Award

Mitchell’s Distinguished Alumni award has been given to graduates who demonstrate the highest values and ethical standards in achieving professional distinction and lasting contributions to their field of endeavor. It also recognizes professional accomplishments of a distinctly creative or challenging nature, plus outstanding leadership within the profession.

The Honorable Ronald E. Hachey Outstanding Alumni Award

The Outstanding Alumni award signifies the college’s highest individual alumni honor and recognizes exemplary professional accomplishment plus demonstrated commitment to the school, including significant involvement with programs and services in support of students and/or alumni, dedicated service on the board of trustees and/or the alumni association or noted participation as a member of the faculty or staff.

Alumni Award Recipients (1981–present)


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William H. DeParcq '30 portraitWilliam H. DeParcq ’30, 1905–88

A tragedy led William Deparcq, graduate of St. Paul College of Law, to his calling. At 19, DeParcq was severely injured in a car collision that left him paralyzed from the waist down. The attorney who represented him encouraged him to go to law school. DeParcq opened a practice in Staples, Minn. Known for his determination and commitment to winning compensation for his injured clients, especially railway workers, he later opened offices in Minneapolis and Chicago. DeParcq served as a Minnesota state representative, a member of the Minnesota Judicial Council, and dean of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He also founded Minnesota’s Courage Foundation, which serves people with disabilities. He served on William Mitchell’s board of trustees for eight years. DeParcq left the college more than $1 million as a bequest in 1989, one of the largest gifts William Mitchell has ever received.


DeParcq colleague, Minneapolis attorney Jim Schwebel talks about the grit of William DeParcq