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NACUA's Distinguished Service Award

Michael C. Weston - 2011

Like many who went to work as college and university attorneys in the 1970s, Michael C. Weston’s path to the job was not planned. Michael graduated from Brown University in 1960, and from The University of Michigan Law School in 1963, when he entered private practice in Detroit with the firm now known as Clark Hill. In 1969 he joined the Economic Development Corporation of Greater Detroit (EDC), a consortium of business, industry and the professions that had been formed in the wake of the City’s 1967 riots to provide support and opportunities to minority-owned businesses. He was first elected secretary and treasurer, then vice president for operations and, in 1972, president of EDC. 

Starting at Northwestern in 1973 as university attorney, Michael was elected vice president for legal affairs in 1981 and vice president and general counsel in 1990. He retired in 2001 but returned to Northwestern in 2002 for a seven-month stint as interim director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art. From 2004 to 2011 he was a senior consultant with Academic Search, Inc., assisting colleges and universities in searches for general counsels and deans of law and business. 

Michael joined NACUA in 1973. He served on the NACUA Board of Directors in 1985-1988 and 1992-1996 and served as president in 1995-1996. Michael’s work for the Association gained momentum, starting with a CLE speech that led to the article “’Outside’ Activities of Faculty Members,” published in The Journal of College and University Law (JCUL) in 1981. He was a speaker and moderator at over 20 other CLE workshops and annual conferences. He volunteered on numerous committees and task forces including: Committee on Board Operations, Committee on Membership and Member Services, Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Committee on Finance and Audit, Committee on Section Oversight, Committee on Annual Conference Arrangements, Committee on Program for the Annual Conference, Committee on Nominations and Elections, and Committee on Honors and Awards. In 2001, Michael was presented with the NACUA Life Membership Award in recognition of his outstanding service and substantial contributions to the Association. 

Anyone who has worked with Michael in any capacity is aware of his integrity, civility, and modesty. He brings thoughtfulness and dedication to excellence to all of his endeavors. His service to NACUA, higher education, and his community has been exceptional. 

NACUA is pleased to recognize Michael C. Weston as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding and exemplary service to the Association, most especially for his service to the Board of Directors.