Judge Paul Michel, Class of 1963

This year’s recipient is honored for outstanding leadership in law and public service. A Williams political science major who managed the swim team, played drums with the Route Two Tooters and other jazz ensembles, and was active in theater productions, our Eph earned a law degree from the University of Virginia before heading to Philadelphia as Arlen Specter’s deputy district attorney. He joined the Army Reserves, where he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant and trained in the governance of occupied nations. In 1972, he was named Philadelphia’s Deputy DA for Investigations and led a special investigations grand jury to root out corrupt state and city officials. In 1974, he was appointed Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor, leading investigations into President Nixon’s slush fund. The following year he became assistant counsel to the newly formed Senate Intelligence Committee. In 1976, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice as deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section and directed the “Koreagate” investigation into alleged payments to members of congress. He later served as Associate Deputy Attorney General, supervising U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, and other law enforcement units in the justice department. In 1981, Arlen Specter called again. As chief of staff to the newly-elected senator, he spent much of that decade framing legislation on court reform, arms control, prison reform, crime control, super-power summits, international trade, and counter-terrorism…to name a few. In 1987 he was appointed circuit court judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, rising to chief judge in 2004. By the time he retired in 2010, he was widely recognized as a seminal figure in patent law. He now teaches, continues to speak out on issues related to the courts and the patent system, and serves as an advisor to national legal organizations. For his commitment to the law and the integrity of public officials, we are privileged to bestow this year’s Kellogg Award on a member of the Class of 1963: Judge Paul Michel.