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Last modified: Monday, September 17, 2012

Albert Velasquez to receive IU Latino Alumni Associationís Distinguished Alumni Award

Sept. 17, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Albert Velasquez, an administrative law judge in the Indianapolis Office of Disability Adjudication and Review and one of the first Hispanic graduates of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, is the 2012 recipient of the IU Latino Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.

Al Velasquez

Albert Velasquez

Print-Quality Photo

The award recognizes outstanding professional achievements and community service of Latino alumni of IU. Velasquez will receive the award Saturday, Sept. 22, at the IU Latino Alumni Association's recognition banquet, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center.

In addition to honoring Velasquez, undergraduate merit scholarship awards will be presented to IU students Erick Ferrer, Deisy Lopez and Sara Winiecki. The event is part of IU's observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

"From a personal perspective it's an honor, but you can't do anything on your own -- it's also about a lot of people I modeled to get here," Velasquez said. "I'm grateful to accept it, and I hope I can be as good a model as they have been for me."

"Few of our Latino graduates represent our community better," said Arthur Andrew Lopez, a 1983 graduate of the Maurer School and a founder of the school's Latino Alumni Association, who nominated Velasquez.

"Al conducts his personal and professional life with all the passion, caring and tenacity that are evidenced today by his many accomplishments," Lopez added. "I firmly believe it is his excellent Indiana education and legal training that provide the tools and the sustenance for all his endeavors."

A first-generation Mexican-American, Velasquez was born in 1944 in Chicago and named after his father. His family eventually settled in Marion, Ind., and younger Al graduated from Bennett High School. He attended Loyola University of Chicago from 1962 to 1964 and the IU School of Business (today the Kelley School of Business) from 1965 to 1967, earning a Bachelor of Science in business insurance.

Like his father, Velasquez enlisted in the U.S. Army; he served in Vietnam in artillery units, eventually earning the rank of captain. Within a month of being discharged in April 1971, he enrolled at the IU School of Law (today the Maurer School) and settled in Bloomington with his wife and young family.

In August 1973, Velasquez graduated from IU with a law degree and moved to Phoenix, where he served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Arizona for two years. While there, he did post-graduate studies in real estate finance and business management at Arizona State University.

In July 1975, the Velasquez family returned to IU Bloomington, where he served as an associate university counsel until 1995. In 1996, he was appointed a U.S. administrative law judge and currently serves in that capacity.

He is admitted to practice before the Indiana Supreme Court, Arizona Supreme Court, United States District Court of Arizona, U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Military Appeals.

He remained active in the U.S. Army with service in the Army Reserve and Indiana National Guard. In 1990, he was appointed the first chief military judge for the Indiana National Guard, conducting both special and general courts martial. His military awards include the Bronze Star with second oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army National Guard Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and General's Staff Badge.

In 1996, he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel and as the chief military judge of the Indiana National Guard.

His community activity includes service as a board member and president of the Monroe County Community Kitchen, as a board member of the Bloomington chapter of the American Red Cross and past president of the Bloomington Chapter of the IU Varsity Club. He is a member of the IU Maurer School of Law Latino Alumni Advisory Board.

Velasquez and his wife, Susie, have two children and five grandchildren.

Previous winners of the award include Judge Jesse M. Villalpando, Ivy Tech Chancellor J. Guadalupe Valtierra, Judge Maria Luz Corona, TV journalist Phil Ponce, Dr. Luis Davila and Carlos J. Ovando.