Community Service Award 2013
Paul Witthoeft '68
Paul M. Witthoeft, a 1968 graduate of MacMurray College, majoring in sociology, your alma mater and fellow alumni are pleased to recognize and honor you as a 2013 recipient of the Community Service Award.
After serving one year on the streets of Chicago as a case worker, you joined the U.S. Air Force and were commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. Trained as an aircraft maintenance officer, your first duty station was Cam Ranh Bay air base in Viet Nam, managing maintenance of short-field C-7 cargo aircraft and also the recovery of disabled aircraft from remote airfields. During this time, you also sang in the choir of the air base chapel, which, at the time, had only men’s voices. Reassigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, and C-130 transports, you were elected president of the Junior Officer Council, providing feedback from the “young turk” junior officers to the base commander. After four years, you transferred to the Air Force Reserves and stayed another twenty-three years in aircraft maintenance, mostly with the fighter aircraft at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. This included two short deployments to Turkey for NATO exercises and one summer camp to Alaska. You retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and were presented with the Meritorious Service Medal, which joined your other American and Vietnam medals. While in the Air Force Reserves, and since, you have been active in the Reserve Officers Association for which you have served as president and currently serve on the board as judge advocate.
After leaving active duty, you furthered your education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, earning both a Jurist Doctorate and a master’s in public administration. You, once again, found yourself becoming very involved, serving as president of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity and managing service activities including used book resales and the student directory. While you were in law school, you interned as a law clerk with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Starting as a pollution prosecutor bringing water pollution and hazardous waste cases, you brought one of the earliest U.S. criminal cases for false reporting under the Clean Water Act before handling cases under the Superfund law and other federal environmental statues. You then specialized in internal advisory law for federal grants and the Freedom of Information Act. Currently, you are an attorney with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, holding the title of assistant regional council.
Over the course of a thirty-eight year career with the EPA in Dallas, you have been awarded EPA’s Bronze Medal three times, recognizing your work on organizing early Earth Day celebrations and for grant0 legal work following the Hurricane Katrina disaster to coordinating federal funding support with state governments and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You have also received a national award for support of the Minority Business Enterprise program under EPA grants.
Active in the Boy Scouts of America since you were a young boy in Chicago, you have served in all levels of scouting and continue to work today as a unit leader and merit badge counselor in East Dallas. You have mentored twenty-four Eagle Scouts since becoming Scout Master in 1999. Through your involvement with BSA, you have been recognized with the District Award of Merit, Silver Beaver Award, and Lutheran Lamb Award.
A member since law school in the 70s, you have served as president of the Dallas-Park Cities Philatelic Society and were also a director of the state-level Texas Philatelic Association. The stamp club helps with annual local exhibitions, and you have served many years working at the youth booth to help kid stamp collectors get started.
Paul M. Witthoeft, you have brought honor to your alma mater through your professional achievements. It is with great pride that the alumni association of MacMurray College honors you as a recipient of the 2013 Community Service Award and presents to you this plaque at MacMurray’s Homecoming Weekend, October 19, 2013, in Jacksonville, Illinois.
Presented by the MacMurray Alumni Association Board.