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Michelle Gutierrez
IU Latino Alumni Association

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2004

Judge, former state representative to be honored by IU Latino Alumni Association

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Jesse M. Villalpando, judge with the Superior Court of Lake County, Ind., will receive the Distinguished Latino Alumni Award at Indiana University Bloomington on Oct. 9 during a Latino Alumni Association luncheon.

The Distinguished Latino Alumni Award is presented to Latino alumni who have contributed to the IU community, their hometown community or their state, and have been outstanding in their career field.

"Judge Villalpando exemplifies what we hope our graduates can achieve: outstanding contributions to the bench and bar, to his community and to the state," said Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law.

The Latino Alumni Association also will present a $2,000 scholarship to IU Bloomington sophomore Manuel Martinez. Martinez, a graduate of East Chicago Central High School, is the first student to receive a scholarship through the fund that was established in 2003.

Villalpando has had a long career in public service. Prior to his appointment to the court in 2000 by the late Gov. Frank O'Bannon, Villalpando served in the Indiana House of Representatives. While a state representative, he authored significant legislation including the Anti-Stalking Law, Anti-Gang Law and Drug Paraphernalia Law. He also authored the CLEO bill to start a program that underwrites scholarships annually to 30 under-represented first-year law students.

He also was instrumental in gaining funding for the Indiana Civil Legal Aid Program, which helps poor Hoosiers in need of legal services. For his contributions to the state, Villalpando has received numerous awards including the Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest civilian award in Indiana.

Villalpando received both his bachelor's degree (1981) and his juris doctorate (1984) from IU. He also earned a master of business administration degree in 2000 from Purdue University.