Indiana University

Skip to:

  1. Search
  2. Breadcrumb Navigation
  3. Content
  4. Browse by Topic
  5. Services & Resources
  6. Additional Resources
  7. Multimedia News

Media Contacts

Danial Kibble
IU School of Law-Indianapolis

Last modified: Thursday, May 6, 2010

IU School of Law-Indianapolis honors alumni

May 6, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Alumni Association of the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis will honor a pastor, a mayor and a judge -- all outstanding graduates -- on Friday (May 7) at the law school's annual Evening of Celebration reception. This year's festivities will include a Toast to the Class of 2010, welcoming the new graduates into the alumni family. All events will take place at the University Place Hotel at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Rev. Franklin Breckenridge, Sr.

Breckenridge image

Franklin Breckenridge

Rev. Franklin Breckenridge, Sr. '68, has been selected as the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) recipient. The DAA is presented annually to an alumnus of the school who has shown outstanding dedication to the IU School of Law- Indianapolis and its Alumni Association as well as dedication and service to the legal profession and his or her community. Rev. Breckenridge was former counsel for Miles Laboratories and served as President of the Indiana State NAACP for 25 years. In addition, he is a life member of the IUAA and served as chair of the school's Board of Visitors for two terms.

After earning his Bachelor of Science in Education from IU, Breckenridge worked in the Head Start programs while attending law school. In addition to teaching, he also worked at the Indiana Department of Revenue. After graduating in 1968, Rev. Breckenridge says he "hung out his shingle" in Kokomo where he practiced for five years.

In 1973, Rev. Breckenridge accepted the position of Corporate Attorney at Miles Laboratories, Inc., now Bayer Corp., then based in Elkhart. After an early retirement from Bayer in 1998, he again went into private practice, this time in Elkhart. He received his Master of Divinity Degree in 1999 from Associate Mennonite Bible Seminaries and is currently serving as Pastor of Olivet A.M.E. Church in South Bend.

A member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1954, he has served as vice chairman of the NAACP since 1995 and served as a member of the National Board and assistant treasurer from 1988 to 2000. He was president of the Indiana State NAACP for 25 years, the longest tenure of any state president, and many of the innovative ideas he introduced locally have been adopted nationally.

He is the recipient of the William R. Ming Advocacy Award for legal services and the Kelly M. Alexander, Sr. outstanding State Conference President's Award. He also helped to form the Black Judicial Officials in 1990 and received the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governors Evan Bayh and Frank O'Bannon.

In August 2009, Breckenridge was inducted into the National Bar Association (NBA) Hall of Fame, a high honor bestowed by the NBA upon members of the bar who have been in pursuit of justice and equality before the courts of the United States of America.

Rev. Breckenridge and his wife, Cora, live in Elkart, Ind., and are the parents of three children and two granddaughters. Their son Franklin, Jr., '94 is an attorney for Parsons Construction Corporation in Dubai (UAE).

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, '00 and the Hon. Charles Bridges, '05, have been selected as the 2010 Early Career Achievement Award (ECA) recipients. The ECA honors alumni who have earned their degrees within the last 10 years, have made service and contributions to the legal profession, community and alma mater, and who show potential for continued success in their field.

Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel

Weinzapfel photo

Jonathan Weinzapfel

Weinzapfel grew up on a farm in Posey County and attended IU Bloomington. After graduation, he worked as a sales representative for Eli Lilly and company and as an aide to Congressman Frank McCloskey in Washington, D.C. before returning to Evansville to work for Old National Bank.

In 1999, he was appointed to fill out a term as a state representative in the Indiana State Legislature and went on to be elected to two full terms. In 2003, he defeated an incumbent to win the office of mayor of the city of Evansville with 62 percent of the vote. In 2007, he was re-elected with an overwhelming 85 percent of the vote. Some of his major accomplishments while in office have been assisting in the creation of the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville (GAGE), the Economic Development Coalition for Southwest Indiana, and the Mayor's Education Round Table, which has created the Southwest Indiana College Access Network and the Early Childhood Development Coalition.

Weinzapfel and his wife, Patricia, have three children. In addition to his J.D. and B.A. degrees, Weinzapfel holds an M.A. from Georgetown University.

Hon. Charles Bridges

Bridges photo

Charles Bridges

Print-Quality Photo

Judge Charles Bridges presides over the Putnam County superior court. Prior to his career in the judicial branch of government, Bridges was an Indiana State Trooper for 27 years, working on the road, as well as in undercover and homicide investigations in Lake County for 15 years. He finished his law enforcement career at the Putnamville Post as Chief of Detectives.

After finishing law school, and while still working for the state police, Bridges opened a private practice in Greencastle, focusing on criminal defense and family law. He also accepted many pro bono cases. Additionally, he was a part-time public defender and a part-time Administrative Law Judge for the state of Indiana, presiding over firearms permit revocation cases. During that time he served as president of the Putnam County Bar Association. He currently serves on numerous boards of community organizations.

He and his wife of 12 years have three children at home, including 6-year-old twins who were born while he was still in law school. He also has a grown son and three grandsons.

Bridges' classmate Robert Masbaum, '05 says in his letter of nomination, "It is not often that a former state police officer becomes a public defender. This to me was a testimonial to not only his character but to his heart."

For more information or to register for the event, contact Danial Kibble at 317-274-2289 or