Photograph: Alumna meeting with student.

Distinguished Service Award Recipients

(D indicates Deceased)
  • 2013 — The Honorable C. William "Bill" Ossmann '77
  • 2012 — Carol Gilliam Green '81 and David E. Pierce '77
  • 2011 — Paul Hoferer '75
  • 2010 — The Honorable Marla J. Luckert '80
  • 2009 — William D. "Bill" Bunten '56
  • 2008 — D. Duke Dupre '73
  • 2007 — Bernard Bianchino '74
  • 2006 — H. Allan Caldwell '73
  • 2005 — James R. Roth '66
  • 2004 — David L. Ryan '65
  • 2003 — Delano E. Lewis '63
  • 2002 — The Honorable Christel Marquardt '74
  • 2001 — Lynn R. Johnson '70
  • 2000 — The Honorable Sam A. Crow '52
  • 1999 — William Kurtis '66
  • 1998 — W. Terrence Kilroy '77
  • 1997 — The Honorable E. Newton Vickers (D) '50; Gerald L. Michaud (D) '51
  • 1996 — Wayne T. Stratton '58
  • 1995 — Harold Herd (D) '42
  • 1994 — Richard Hite '53
  • 1993 — Glenn Archer (D) '46
  • 1992 — Ronald K. Richey '51 (D)
  • 1991 — Herbert A. Marshall (D) '43; Patrick F. Kelly (D) '53
  • 1990 — No award given
  • 1989 — Richard Hrdlicka '55
  • 1988 — Bob Abbott (D) '60
  • 1987 — Raymond L. Spring (D) '59; Dale E. Saffels (D) '49
  • 1986 — Linda Elrod '71
  • 1985 — Jim Barnett '59
  • 1984 — Mike Barbara '53
  • 1983 — Joe Morris '47
  • 1982 — Gerald L. Goodell '58
  • 1981 — Robert Dole '52
  • 1980 — Warren Shaw (D) '31
  • 1979 — Perry Owsley (D) '38
  • 1978 — Howard Harper (D) '40
  • 1977 — Jerome Harman (D) '35
  • 1976 — Meyer Ueoka '49
  • 1975 — Alex Fromme (D) '39
  • 1974 — J.C. Tillotson (D) '32
  • 1973 — Jack Wertz (D) '47
  • 1972 — Jay Kyle (D) '38
  • 1971 — Roy Bartlett (D) '49
  • 1970 — D.A. Hindman (D) '27; John Shamberg (D) '49
  • 1969 — Donald Moyers (D) '34; Stanley Garrity (D) '27
  • 1968 — Earl Hatcher (D) '23
  • 1967 — Alex Hotchkiss (D) '27; George Templar (D) '27; Harold Fatzer (D) '33
  • 1966 — Phil Lewis (D) '35
  • 1965 — Lester Goodell (D) '25
  • 1964 — Delmas Hill (D) '29; Howard Jones (D) '28
  • 1963 — Marie Russell (D) '25
2013 Distinguished Service Award Recipient
Photograph: The Honorable C. William “Bill” Ossmann.

The Honorable C. William “Bill” Ossmann, 1977, is presently a District Court Judge in Shawnee County, Kan. Before he was appointed to the bench in August 2012, he was the Chief Litigation Attorney for the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services for a few months. He had earlier held a similar position with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (later the Department for Children and Families). He assumed that position in November 1997.

Judge Ossmann was in private practice for a short time following his admission to the bar in 1977, and his early experience included work as a guardian ad litem with the Shawnee County juvenile court. He was a criminal prosecutor from 1978 to 1993, serving as an Assistant District Attorney and later First Assistant District Attorney in Shawnee County. He worked with the Kansas Department of Agriculture as a Special Assistant Attorney General from 1993 to 1997.

Judge Ossmann received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Kansas State University and his law degree from Washburn University School of Law. He received a master’s in Public Administration from the University of Kansas, where he was recognized with the K.U. Capital Center Award for outstanding achievement in graduate study.

The Kansas County and District Attorney’s Association selected him to be Prosecutor of the Year in 1990. He is active as a Master in the Sam A. Crow Inn of the American Inns of Court and a Life Member of the Washburn Law Alumni Association.

Judge Ossmann served as Chairperson of the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board from 1991 to 1993, and he was Municipal Judge in Silver Lake, Kan. from 1993 to 1996. He has been active in the Topeka community, participating in the 1991 Leadership Greater Topeka class and maintaining a life membership in the National Eagle Scout Association.

Judge Ossmann served as the fire chief with Shawnee County Fire District #4 until January 31, 2013. He remains an EMT and volunteer with the department which serves portions of western Shawnee County and eastern Wabaunsee County. He is the Past President of the State Capital Area Firefighters Association and a Past President of the Downtown Topeka Kiwanis Club.

Judge Ossmann frequently teaches for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) trial skills and deposition skills programs in Chicago and Colorado. He has served as the program director for NITA Public Service Lawyers programs in Topeka and Hays. As an adjunct professor at Washburn University School of Law he teaches trial skills, depositions, and cross examination. He was selected as the Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2013.

In 2009, the Kansas Bar Association presented Judge Ossmann with its Distinguished Government Service Award. He and his wife Catherine live on a ranch west of Topeka.