Honoree

G. Michael Witte

AWARDS

IUPUI Maynard K. Hine Medal (2011)
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
B.A., 1979; J.D., 1982
Distinguished Asian/Pacific American Alumni Award (2008)

BIOGRAPHY

A lifetime member of the IU Alumni Association, Witte received his bachelor's degree in forensic studies in 1979 and his law degree in 1982, both from IU. Witte, who serves as judge for the Dearborn Superior Court No. 1, was the first Asian American trial judge to be elected in the state of Indiana.

A nationally recognized expert on highway traffic safety legal issues and known for his commitment to improving the public trust in the judicial branch of government and improving the performance of America's judges, Witte has been a faculty member with the National Judicial College of the University of Nevada since 1994. Nominated to the Indiana Court of Appeals in 2008, Witte is the vice-chair of the judicial division of the American Bar Association and will become its chairman in 2011, another Asian American first. In addition, Witte belongs to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Indiana State Bar Association, American Judges Association, Indiana Judges Association and was appointed to the Indiana Commission on Courts.

An involved alumnus, Witte is the president for the IU School of Law- Indianapolis Alumni Association, has been president of the Dearborn County Chapter of the IUAA and served as the coordinator of the Dearborn County IU Varsity Club. Active in his community, Witte is recognized as a leader for diversity and has been instrumental in reaching out to Asian and other minority youth in programs across the nation. The Hoosier Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America named him a Distinguished Citizen in 1996, just one of many honors he has received.

In August, Witte received the Franklin N. Flaschner Award from the American Bar Association National Conference of Specialized Court Judges. The award is given to the outstanding judge in the nation who presides in a court of limited jurisdiction. Witte is the third recipient of the Distinguished Asian Pacific American Alumni Award, an honor established in 2006 by the IU Asian Alumni Association in conjunction with the IU Asian Culture Center.