Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip Navigation LinksHome > News & Information > Features > Michigan Law to Honor Three Distinguished Alumni

Michigan Law to Honor Three Distinguished Alumni

Sept. 23, 2013
By Amy Spooner

Michigan Law will recognize three notable alumni with 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards at a ceremony to be held during Reunion Weekend on Oct. 4. This year's recipients of the annual award—which highlights individuals who have made an exceptional impact on their profession, community, and/or Michigan Law—are Valerie Jarrett, '81, John Nannes, '73, and Theodore (Ted) St. Antoine, '54.

 DAA winners, from left: Valerie Jarrett, '81' John Nannes, '73; and Ted St. Antoine, '54.

DAA winners, from left: Valerie Jarrett, '81; John Nannes, '73; and Ted St. Antoine, '54.

"Valerie, John, and Ted are wonderful examples of the very best of Michigan Law," said former Dean Evan Caminker, who announced the award recipients and oversaw the selection process. "Not only have they excelled at their careers, but they have chosen very different career paths, all while maintaining an unwavering commitment to the Law School."

Jarrett, of Washington, D.C., is a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and also is the chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was CEO of the Habitat Co., based in Chicago. She also served as co-chair of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team and was senior adviser to Obama's presidential campaign. Jarrett has held positions in both the public and private sectors, including chairman of the Chicago Transit Board, commissioner of planning and development for the city of Chicago, and deputy chief of staff for Mayor Richard M. Daley. She also practiced law with two private firms. In addition, Jarrett has served as a director of several corporate and nonprofit boards, including chairman of the board of the Chicago Stock Exchange, director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and chairman of the University of Chicago Medical Center's Board of Trustees. In 2013, she was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people as well as the National Newspaper Publishers Association's Newsmaker of the Year.

Nannes, of Washington, D.C., is a partner in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He has served on numerous Law School alumni committees over the past 40 years, including the National Committee for the Law School Fund, the Committee of Visitors, the Dean's Advisory Council, and multiple campaign steering committees. He currently chairs the Development and Alumni Relations Committee. Nannes conceived and funded the 3L Challenge, which annually offers third-year students the chance to designate $250 to the Law School student activity of their choice in exchange for their commitment to contribute to the Law School in each of their first four years after graduation—thus introducing students to the importance of alumni support. Following graduation from the Law School and a clerkship with Justice William Rehnquist, Nannes was a special assistant to Tom Kauper in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice before becoming the first associate in the new Washington office of Skadden. He has remained at Skadden since then, except for when he served as deputy assistant attorney general and then acting assistant attorney general in the Antitrust Division from 1998 to 2001.

St. Antoine, of Ann Arbor, is the James E. & Sarah A. Degan Professor Emeritus of Law at Michigan. He practiced labor law in Washington, D.C., with Woll, Mayer & St. Antoine before joining the Michigan Law faculty in 1965, where his teaching specialties were labor and employment law and contracts. He also was dean of the Law School from 1971 to 1978. St. Antoine has been a labor arbitrator for more than 40 years and is a past president of the National Academy of Arbitrators. For his writing and activities in the labor and human rights fields, St. Antoine received the State Bar's Champion of Justice Award and the Labor Law Section's Distinguished Service Award. He is co-editor of a leading labor law casebook, now in its 12th edition, and editor of the National Academy of Arbitrators' publication, The Common Law of the Workplace: The Views of Arbitrators (2d ed. 2005). St. Antoine has been a visiting professor at universities in the United States and abroad, and has taught at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies. He also has lectured widely on labor and employment law in Europe and China.

To submit a nomination for the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award, visit

Read more feature stories.

Share |