Each year, CalSouthern recognizes an alumnus who has made a difference in his or her area of practice, field of study or local community through distinguished work, scholarship, innovation or service, with the presentation of the CalSouthern Difference Award.
This year’s winner, the Honorable David Widmaier, is making a difference on a local, state and national level. He is a judge in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona, first elected in the year 2000 and re-elected four times since then.
He is a gifted judge, skilled in the law, fair and compassionate. His excellence on the bench has been widely recognized. Most notably, Judge Widmaier has twice been named Arizona Judge of the Year, in 2009 and 2012.
Judge Widmaier, a 2011 graduate of CalSouthern’s Master of Science in Law program, also works tirelessly to improve the administration of justice for those in Arizona and across the country. He serves on numerous Arizona Supreme Court committees, including the Arizona Judicial Council, which is Arizona’s highest judicial body other than the Arizona Supreme Court itself. He serves as a faculty member and mentor judge for the Arizona Judicial College. He has served as the president of the Arizona Justice of the Peace Association. In addition, he is the Arizona representative to the National Judges Association.
Through this work, he has helped to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the judicial system, with an unseen, but significant impact on countless citizens in Arizona and across the country.
Judge Widmaier was presented the award at CalSouthern’s 36th annual commencement ceremony, held on August 2. As part of the award, CalSouthern has made a donation of $2,500 in Judge Widmaier’s name to the White Mountain S.A.F.E. House, which works tirelessly to support and help rebuild the lives of victims of domestic abuse in and around the community of Pinetop-Lakeside.
Before the ceremony, we sat down with Judge Widmaier to learn a little more about his work—both on the bench and in the larger legal community—volunteerism, and his reaction to being named the 3rd annual recipient of the CalSouthern Difference Award.
We hope you enjoy the interview and we’re sure you’ll agree: Judge Widmaier is a CalSouthern alumnus to be proud of!