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Alumni Honored at Western New England University School of Law Recognition Reception

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2019 - 12:00 AM All News , Alumni , Law
  • Pictured (L to R): Western New England University School of Law Dean Sudha Setty, The Honorable William J. Meade, Sunila Thomas-George, Michael A. Fenton, Kathleen E. Dion, and Jonathan Longobardi, president of the Alumni Association. Honored in abstentia: Philmore H. Colburn.

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award: The Honorable William J. Meade L'89. Dean's Excellence Awards: Philmore H. Colburn, II L'91 and Sunila Thomas-George L'95.

  • Ascending Alumni Awards: Kathleen E. Dion L'09 and Michael A. Fenton L'12.

Western New England University School of Law recently held its Annual Alumni Recognition Reception at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place in Springfield, MA. The event is hosted by the Law Alumni Association to recognize the professional accomplishments of law alumni and includes the presentation of the Dean's Alumni Excellence Award, the Ascending Alumni Award, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. Dean Sudha Setty delivered opening remarks to the assembled alumni and friends, and Jonathan Longobardi L'10, president of the School of Law Alumni Association, presided over the ceremony.

"The School of Law Alumni Association is very proud of its alumni and their many achievements," said Longobardi. "These awards afford us the important opportunity to recognize and celebrate those achievements."

The Association recognized The Honorable William J. Meade L'89, Associate Justice of Massachusetts Appeals Court with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Justice Meade began his career as an assistant district attorney for the Eastern District of Massachusetts, where he was an appellate attorney. From 1992 to 2000, he served as an assistant attorney general in the appellate division of the criminal bureau, and later served as chief of the appellate division. Justice Meade went on to serve as deputy chief legal counsel to Governor Mitt Romney, and as legal counsel to the Commonwealth's 11 district attorneys. He was appointed by Governor Romney as an associate justice of the Appeals Court in 2006.

The Dean's Award recognizes an alumnus or alumna whose professional accomplishments bring credit to the School of Law and who has a record of service that demonstrates the core values of the Western New England University School of Law. This year's Dean's Alumni Excellence Awards were presented to Philmore H. Colburn II L'91, and Sunila Thomas-George L'95.

Philmore H. Colburn began his career in 1982 as a design engineer with United Technologies. Today Colburn is the co-managing partner at Cantor Colburn, LLP one of the nation's leading intellectual property law firms leading a team of more than 100 attorneys, patent agents, and technical advisors.

Reappointed as the chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination by Governor Charles D. Baker, in September 2018, Sunila Thomas-George, continues to serve the people of the Commonwealth in her fifth consecutive term as a commissioner at the MCAD.

The Ascending Alumni Award spotlights the achievements of new alumni who graduated within the past 10 years from the School of Law.Honorees have shown leadership in their chosen field and/or in the community they stand out from their peers in the drive and potential they have shown. The Association recognized Kathleen E. Dion L'09 and Michael A. Fenton L'12 with this award.

Kathleen E. Dion is a partner at Robinson+Cole in Hartford, Connecticut focusing her practice on all aspects of civil and criminal litigation. Attorney Dion was recently named to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) First 100 Plus Class of 2018 for demonstrating leadership and commitment to improving the lives of domestic violence survivors throughout Connecticut. Dion was also named by the Connecticut Law Tribune as a New Leader in the Law, recognized as a "40 Under Forty" winner by BusinessWest, and has been selected as a Rising Star to the Connecticut Super Lawyers list since 2016.

Michael A. Fenton is a shareholder at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., a nationally recognized law firm primarily serving New England and eastern New York. He is a member of the bar in both Massachusetts and Connecticut and concentrates his practice in the areas of business planning, commercial real estate, and estate planning. Attorney Fenton has been rated as a Super Lawyer every year since 2014. He was also named one of the "Top 25 Up and Coming Attorneys" in 2014 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and is a member of the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2012.