Thomas G. Cline - 2012
Thomas G. Cline was working as a lawyer in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 1988 when an acquaintance at a legal search firm offered some free advice. “You seem to like variety in your work,” he told Tom. “You also seem to want a client you can believe in. You might like to be a lawyer for a college or a university.” Intrigued, Tom contacted an organization the acquaintance had recommended: the National Association of College and University Attorneys. By January 1989, Tom was working at Northwestern University as Assistant General Counsel. He was promoted to Associate General Counsel in 1993 and to Deputy General Counsel in 1996. Following a national search, Tom succeeded his long-time predecessor, mentor and friend (and one of last year’s Distinguished Service Award winners), Mike Weston, as Vice President & General Counsel in September 2001. Needless to say, Tom discovered his acquaintance’s advice had been sound.
Tom has several qualities that his NACUA colleagues noted that they envied including his quiet warmth, work ethic, and superior intellect. During his 23+ years as a NACUA member, Tom has served on the NACUA Board in 2001-2004 and again in 2008-2011 (as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee) and on numerous committees, task forces, and advisory groups, including: Committee on Program for the Annual Conference; Committee on Membership and Member Services (and as co-chair of what was then the Committee on Membership); Committee on Continuing Legal Education; Committee on Nominations and Elections; Committee on Strategic Planning; NACUANet Task Force; Task Force on ABA Specialty Certification (co-chair); and the Advisory Group on Continued Engagement of Long-Term Members (chair). Tom was also a member of the Committee on Finance and Audit for 10 years, where he was chair first of the Subcommittee on Audit and then of the full Committee.
Tom has a B.A. in History from Yale University and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. He is an avid reader of history and fiction, a classical music addict, and a sports fanatic who has come to accept the fact that his wonderful wife and two fantastic daughters are just always right.
NACUA is pleased to recognize Thomas G. Cline 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.