Distinguished Alumni Award


The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a graduate who has made outstanding contributions to the legal profession by supporting the community through hard work and diligence, selflessly paving the way for future leaders.


  • Properly nominated.
  • Graduate of the Nebraska College of Law.
  • Brings credit to the Law College by virtue of their recognized professional success.

Medal awarded at the Dean's Advisory Board Awards banquet.

Most Recent Winner

Hon. Cheryl R. Zwart, ’88

Cheryl R. Zwart was a United States Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska from 2010 until her retirement in 2024. Prior to her appointment, Judge Zwart was a law clerk for U.S. Magistrate David Piester and an associate and partner at Knudsen Law Firm. She is a mentor to many young attorneys, including a cadre of law clerks, and students in her role as adjunct professor at the College of Law.

CHeryl Zwart headshot.
Previous Winners
  • 2023: Lt. Gov. Joe Kelly
  • 2022: Damon O. Barry
  • 2020/21: Sen. Matt Williams
  • 2019: Gail S. Perry
  • 2018: Hon. Michael G. Heavican
  • 2017: Connie Collingsworth
  • 2016: Hon. William Jay Riley
  • 2015: Deborah Gilg
  • 2014: Hon. Vernon Daniels
  • 2013: Kim M. Robak
  • 2012: John M. & Janice M. Gradwohl
  • 2011:  Senator E. Benjamin Nelson
  • 2010: Robert W. Korba
  • 2009: Hon. Arlen Beam
  • 2008: Clayton K. Yeutter
  • 2007: Charles Thone
  • 2006: Hon. Laurie Smith Camp
  • 2005: Donald C. Farber
  • 2004: D. Nick Caporale
  • 2003: Theodore C. Sorensen
  • 2002: Duane W. Acklie
Katie Pfannenstiel portrait
Contact Katie with Questions

Katie Pfannenstiel
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Event Planning