NIU Law hosts 13th annual Minority Alumni Reception

Interim Dean Mark Cordes, Professor John Walton (retired), Vincent Cornelius (’89), Doressia Hutton (’01) and Alderman Richard Irvin (’98)
Interim Dean Mark Cordes, Professor John Walton (retired), Vincent Cornelius (’89), Doressia Hutton (’01) and Alderman Richard Irvin (’98)

The NIU College of Law held its 13th Annual Minority Alumni Reception, hosted Feb. 16 in Chicago by Interim Dean Mark Cordes and alumnus Vincent Cornelius (’89).

Current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, judges, and political leaders from the Chicago area attended the reception, which included special presentations honoring alumni Doressia Hutton (’01), Aurora Alderman Richard Irvin (’98) and recently retired NIU Law Professor John Walton.

NIU Law Board of Visitors and Alumni Council member Kate McCabe (’01) presented Hutton with the Excellence in Service and Leadership Award. Hutton was honored for her exceptional leadership and distinguished record as a public servant. She was recently appointed senior attorney for the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Prior to her appointment, Hutton was a partner with Winston & Strawn LLP in Chicago for five years specializing in the area of commercial litigation. Her service record includes membership on the Boards of Directors for the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and Mississippi Center for Justice. She was named Winston & Strawn’s 2013 Mentor of the Year, and in 2007, she was the NIU College of Law’s Young Alumna of the Year.

Cornelius honored Irvin with the Excellence in Service and Leadership Award for his commitment to the public good in numerous facets of his service. Irvin is in his third term as alderman and also owns and operates the law offices of Richard C. Irvin and Associates. Irvin has participated on the 708 Mental Health Inc. Executive Board and the Illinois Coalition for Community Services Executive Board. He has also served as a police trainer for the Institute for Public Safety Partnerships and as a Big Brothers and Big Sisters volunteer. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

John Walton
John Walton

Additionally, Cordes and alumnus Kenneth Wright (’98) gave special recognition to Walton, who retired from the NIU Law faculty late in 2015 after more than 23 years of teaching.

Professor Walton has been a respected and beloved instructor, twice being recognized as Professor of the Year by the NIU Law student body. He taught a wide variety of subjects at NIU Law, including business organizations, agency, sports and entertainment law, intellectual property and lawyering skills. Professor Walton recently secured trademarks and patents for an innovative universal jack stand, which was featured on the webseries “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

Cornelius, a 1989 NIU Law alumnus, has hosted the Minority Reception since its inception and has watched it continue to grow each year. Cornelius is a sole practitioner with offices in Wheaton and Joliet. He will be sworn in June 17 as the first African-American president of the Illinois State Bar Association.

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