Three distinguished graduates of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law were honored for their contributions to the profession at the Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon, Friday, October 5, 2012. The recipients are:
- Attorney Hester Turner (Class of 1946);
- Former Judge Hayzel B. Daniels (Class of 1949) (posthumously); and
- Former U.S. Representative James F. McNulty (Class of 1951) (posthumously)
Recipients are nominated and selected by a committee of James E. Rogers College of Law Faculty members. Only twenty alumni have been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in the 97-year history of the College.
Photo above: Dr. Hester Turner
Commenting on the award presentation, Arizona Law Dean Lawrence Ponoroff said, “Throughout their careers, these three alumni worked assiduously to serve their communities and their professions. We are proud to honor those who in their words and their deeds so thoroughly exemplified the ideals that we hope all of our students will aspire to achieve.”
- Dr. Hester Turner earned a B.S. from Our Lady of the Lake University and a M.A. from Southwest State University, both in Texas. She completed her law degree from the University of Arizona in 1946, and then moved to Oregon where she joined the faculty at Lewis and Clark University, earned her Ph. D. in Education in 1956 from Oregon State University, and then served as Director of Professional Services with the Oregon Education Association. Thereafter, she became Dean of Women and then Dean of Students at Lewis and Clark University. Dr. Turner moved to New York City to assume the post of National Executive Director of the Campfire Girls (now the Campfire Boys and Girls) more than forty years ago, and she has lived there since. Her exemplary life has been a model of how keen intelligence, a formidable work ethic, and natural leadership skills can be used to promote the common good.
- Hayzel B. Daniels was a man of extraordinary talent and drive who achieved many firsts during his lifetime. He earned a B.S. in Social Sciences (1939) and an M.A. in Education (1941), both from the University of Arizona. He served overseas in the U.S. Army during World War II and, in 1948, became the first African American to graduate from the University of Arizona College of Law and the first to be admitted to the State Bar of Arizona. After opening a law practice in Phoenix, in 1950 Daniels won election to the Arizona legislature, along with his friend Carl Sims, the first African Americans to do so. As a lawmaker and attorney, Daniels fought racism by successfully sponsoring legislation and litigating cases that significantly reduced segregation in Arizona public schools. Daniels then coordinated peaceful sit-ins, prosecuted civil rights cases, and served the public as an Assistant Arizona State Attorney General. His appointment as the first African-American judge in Arizona in 1965, a position he held for more than a decade, garnered national attention. In 1993 the Arizona Black Lawyers Association honored him by changing its name to the Hayzel B. Daniels Bar Association.
- James F. McNulty, Jr. was drafted by the Army in 1944 and served as a drill sergeant at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. After World War II, he enrolled at the University of Arizona on the G.I. Bill and continued on to law school. After graduating in 1951, he joined the Bisbee law firm of Gentry & Gentry and remained with the firm for 31 years. McNulty’s remarkable public service included membership in the Arizona Board of Regents, the State Board of Education, and the State Hospital Board. He was elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1968 and served until 1973. McNulty was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 in the newly-created Congressional District 5 and served in Congress for one term. He returned to law practice and was a partner in the Tucson firm of Bilby, Thompson, Shoenhair & Warnock, and later Snell & Wilmer. At the age of 68, he joined the Peace Corps and worked in the eastern highlands of Guatemala. McNulty is remembered for his integrity and sense of fairness, his Irish sense of humor, and his unflagging commitment to the ideals of democracy.