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 and permanent recognition through a publicly-displayed plaque at the college.

Most Recent Winner

Lt. Governor Joseph P. Kelly, '81

Joe currently serves Nebraska as it's Lieutenant Governor, a position he assumed in January 2023. Prior to assuming office as Lt. Governor, he served as the United States Attorney for the District of Nebraska. Formerly, he served as chief deputy county attorney in the Lancaster County Attorney's Office before being elected as Lancaster County Attorney in 2011. Kelly has prosecuted a variety of crimes, including homicide, robbery, sexual assault and white collar.

Joe Kelly Headshot.
Previous Winners
  • 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