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Freedom & Distinguished Service Awards Reception

One of the Law School's Signature Alumni Events, the annual Freedom & Distinguished Service Awards Reception honors alumni and members of the legal profession who uphold the highest standards upon which our civil society is built.

Originally presented at two separate events, the award ceremonies were combined to provide the alumni community an opportunity to celebrate their fellow graduates' achievements while reconnecting with friends and colleagues.

The first Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented on February 5, 1966, at the first all-alumni dinner and dance held at the Palmer House. The event, at which Dean Noble W. Lee was a principal speaker, was sponsored by a committee of 150 attorneys.

The inaugural Freedom Award was presented on November 16, 1974, at a dinner marking the Law School's 75th Anniversary held at McCormick Place. Then President of the Board of Trustees, Louis L. Biro, said Walter Cronkite, anchorman for the CBS Evening News, was selected as the first awardee because "he represents the personification of a living person exercising the rights of freedom of press and speech."