Akron Law Alumni Association to Honor Outstanding Alumni and Faculty on May 15


Akron, Ohio, April 22, 2009 - The University of Akron School of Law Alumni Association will hold its annual Alumni Awards Dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15 in the Student Union Ballroom. The honorees were chosen for their achievements in the legal profession and their communities.

The 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award honorees are Bedford Biles ('58), sole practitioner (retired) and decorated WWII veteran; Nicholas T. George ('70), partner with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP; Virginia Robinson ('86), personnel director for the City of Akron; and Jeffrey Savarise ('85), partner with Fisher & Phillips LLP. Dr. Elizabeth J. Stroble, senior vice president, provost and chief operating officer of The University of Akron, will receive an Honorary Alumni Award.

Farhad B. Sethna ('90), adjunct faculty member, will receive the John R. Quine Award as the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Member; Professor Stefan Padfield will receive the Thomas G. Byers Memorial Award for Outstanding Faculty Publication for his article "Is Puffery Material to Investors? Maybe We Should Ask Them;" and T. Leigh Anenson ('94), will receive the Outstanding Alumni Publication Award for her article "Treating Equity Like Law: A Post-Merger Justification of Unclean Hands."

For registration information, visit www.uakron.edu/law/alumni or contact Sue Staats at 330-972-7246 or staats@uakron.edu.

Bedford Biles began his career with Roadway Express, where he started at the company as terminal manager and eventually was promoted to national trouble shooter. While working at Roadway, he pursued his law degree, which he completed in 1958. Biles mainly practiced personal injury law, as well as divorce and real estate work. During World War II Biles was a member of the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. He served in four battles: Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes, and Central Europe. He was wounded by shrapnel three times. For his honorable service to the United States he was awarded the following decorations and citations: EAMET Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars with one bronze service arrow head; three Purple Heart Medals (one for Normandy and two for the battles in Holland); the American Defense Service Medal; the Good Conduct Medal; the Bronze Star Medal; the Distinguished Unit Badge with One Oak Leaf Cluster and the French Legion of Honor. In 2008, Biles was the speaker at the UA School of Law Commencement ceremony. He currently resides in Marco Island, Fla., with his wife Fay.

Nicholas T. George is a partner with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs LLP. In his role at Buckingham, George provides day-to-day consultation to numerous businesses throughout Northeast Ohio and is counsel to commercial real estate developers. He served as president and CEO of the firm from January 2000 until June 2008 and was previously the owner of the law firm of Nicholas T. George & Associates, which merged with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs in 1997. George has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America from 2001-09 and has been recognized as one of Ohio's Super Lawyers in 2004-09, as voted by his peers. He has received a Martindale-Hubbell Rating of AV, which indicates very high to pre-eminent legal ability and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar. He is a member of the Akron, American, and Ohio Bar Associations. George received his bachelor of arts degree from UA in 1968 and his juris doctorate from Akron Law in 1970.

Active in the community, George is a board member of the Autism Family Foundation of Northeast Ohio, Heart-to-Heart Communications, Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs and the Stephen A. Comunale Jr. Family Cancer Foundation. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Rotary Club of Akron. George has been the recipient of the UA Alumni Honor Award (2005), the American Heart Association Distinguished Achievement Award (2005), and the Outstanding Entrepreneurial Leadership Award, presented by UA's Fitzgerald Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (2007).

Virginia Robinson is a member of UA School of Law Class of 1986. Having worked as a registered nurse for 24 years before and during law school, Robinson is currently serving as personnel director for the City of Akron. She also has served as legal counsel for the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and as assistant director of law for the City of Akron. Active in her community, Robinson is a past president of the Akron Law Alumni Association, the Akron Bar Association and the Akron Symphony Orchestra, and currently serves on community boards such as Mobile Meals, Community AIDS Network, and the Akron Community Foundation. She enjoys gardening, knitting and a variety of music. She is the mother of three and grandmother of two.

Jeffrey A. Savarise received his juris doctorate degree from the UA School of Law in 1985 and graduated magna cum laude from John Carroll University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He is a partner in the Louisville office of Fisher & Phillips LLP and is chair of the firm's Automotive Manufacturing Practice Group. Savarise practices exclusively in the areas of labor and employment law on behalf of employers, where he handles cases in numerous state and federal jurisdictions. He also provides a variety of preventive maintenance and employment training programs especially geared to the automotive industry. Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, Savarise was with the law firm of Greenebaum, Doll & McDonald, where he was a member of the firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group and served as employment counsel for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. Savarise is a member of the Labor and Employment Sections of the Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and American Bar Associations. He also is a member of the American Bar Association Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is a member of the Akron Law Dean's Council (2002-present) and the Spalding University Board of Overseers (2003-04).

Dr. Elizabeth J. Stroble was named UA's senior vice president and provost and chief operating officer in June 2003. Prior to that appointment, she served as dean and tenured professor of the College of Education. Her higher education career has included faculty and administrative assignments at the University of Louisville and Northern Arizona University.

While dean of UA's College of Education, Stroble helped establish interdisciplinary collaborations, such as the Center for Collaboration and Inquiry, the Muehlstein Academy for Mathematics and Science, and the Center for Literacy. She oversaw the college's review by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The outcome of the review was so positive that the college served as a training site for accreditation reviewers. As the chair of the State University Education Deans, she hosted the first statewide meeting for deans of education and arts and sciences.

Stroble has provided statewide leadership as a member of the boards for Ohio Learning Network and OhioLINK (chair in 2004-05) as well as appointments on three current Ohio Board of Regents committees, including co-chairing the Ohio STEM Academy Advisory Committee. Nationally, she has served on the Executive Board of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education from 2004-07 and currently is a member of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Appeals Board. In 2003, she received Northern Ohio Live's Rainmaker Award, and in 2004 she was a finalist for Inside Business's Athena Award. In 2007, she was appointed a Commissioner of the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

Recent initiatives led or coordinated by Stroble's office include establishing an Honors College, restructuring the university's Community and Technical College to create Summit College, raising the funds for a $9 million dollar facility in nearby Medina County, launching UA's Inclusive Excellence initiative and a search for the university's first chief diversity officer, and continued affiliation with the Carnegie Academy on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Locally, Stroble serves on Summit County's P-16 Alliance, the board of directors for Project GRAD Akron, and has supported the launch of a UA-APS Early College High School as well as a STEM middle school that will be operated jointly by the university, Akron Public Schools, City of Akron, and the National Inventors' Hall of Fame.

The Office of the Provost led a campus-wide conversation that resulted in Design for our Future and the resulting UA design principles: leadership, innovation, engagement, inclusive excellence, and assessment. Guided by these principles, campus leadership has now created an Enrollment Management Roadmap and a Student Success and Retention Plan.

Stroble earned a bachelor of arts degree in history and English in 1973 from Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill. She earned a master of arts degree in history in 1979, and a master of arts degree in American and English literature in 1984, both from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Stroble received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville in 1987.

The University of Akron School of Law promotes justice, the protection of individual liberty and the rule of law through commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The law school features a nationally-recognized program in intellectual property, as well as one of four Constitutional Law Centers in the United States. To learn more, visit www.uakron.edu/law.

The University of Akron is the public research university for Northern Ohio. It is the only public university in Ohio with a science and engineering program ranked in the top five nationally by U.S. News & World Report. Serving 26,000 students, the university offers approximately 300 associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit www.uakron.edu.