Distinguished Alumni Award


John Bouma 58BA, 60JD

2003 Service Award

John Bouma, 58BA, 60JD, heads one of the nation's premier law firms, yet finds the time to lend his considerable leadership skills to the University of Iowa.

Chairman of Snell & Wilmer of Phoenix, Arizona, one of the largest law firms in the Southwest, Bouma is a longtime member of the Iowa Law School Foundation Board of Directors, serving both as its vice president and chair of the fund-raising committee.

A native of Pocahontas, Iowa, Bouma received a B.A. in political science from the UI in 1958. He attended the College of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Iowa Law Review and graduated with highest honors, and then he served his country for two years in the Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Arizona.

In 1962, Bouma joined the law firm of Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, where he advanced rapidly, making partner in four years. He was named to the executive committee at age 35, and by 1982, at age 45, he became chairman. With approximately 350 lawyers, the firm is one of the most respected and successful in the country.

Bouma holds a reputation as one of America's finest attorneys and has been included in annual editions of The Best Lawyers in America for nearly 20 years. He has been named by the National Law Journal as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America." A Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Bouma has served as president of both the Arizona Bar and the National Conference of Bar Presidents and as a member of the American Bar Association board of governors.

In 1998, Bouma received the prestigious Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Bar Foundation, a distinction that recognizes an Arizona attorney "who has manifested adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public and the community."

Besides giving selflessly of his time and expertise as the chair and a member of the Iowa Law School Foundation board of directors, he is a member of the College of Law Dean's Club. He and his brother, Bob Bouma, 62JD, recently made a generous gift to create the Bouma Fellowship in Trial Law, the College of Law's first endowed faculty fellowship.

Bouma's Midwestern values have remained with him, and service to the community has been an important priority in his life. He has served as president of the Phoenix Art Museum and the Arizona Opera Company. In 1998, he received the Community Legal Services Decade of Dedication Award for more than 15 years of pro bono legal services for the poor on national, state, and local levels. Under his guidance, his firm encourages employees to contribute a minimum of 50 hours a year to community legal service.

Bouma's outstanding accomplishments place him in a premier group of Iowa graduates who have tirelessly dedicated their lives to service and leadership.

Bouma is a member of the UI Foundation's Presidents Club and a UIAA life member.


About Distinguished Alumni Awards

Since 1963, the University of Iowa has annually recognized accomplished alumni and friends with Distinguished Alumni Awards. Awards are presented in seven categories: Achievement, Service, Hickerson Recognition, Faculty, Staff, Recent Graduate, and Friend of the University.


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With the start of a new year upon us, it's time to look back at your favorite University of Iowa stories from 2018. Here are Iowa Magazine's top 10 most-read articles of the year: The Nomadic Life (spring 2018) Hawkeye football favorite Paki O'Meara (10BA) finds ultimate freedom in backpacking around the world, taking photos that inspire a sense of wonder. PHOTO COURTESY PAKI O'MEARA Kinnick at 100 (summer 2018) This past summer marked two historically significant dates for Hawkeye fans: the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nile Kinnick (40BA), and the 75th anniversary of his tragic death. In memory of Iowa's favorite son, scholar, and Ironman, we look back on his life and legacy. Ahead of the Game (spring 2018) The Iowa football team becomes the first in the nation to equip the majority of its players with a state-of-the-art new helmet designed to improve player safety. PHOTO: MARK STASTNY Hollywood U (fall 2018) Alumni success in TV and film shines the spotlight on Iowa's? flourishing screenwriting program. ILLUSTRATION: FABIEN GILBERT / ARTISTIQUE INTERNATIONAL Mountain Roots (spring 2018) Nearly 80 years ago, an unlikely UI mountain-climbing club emerged from the cornfields of Iowa to become one of the most active in the world. Now the next generation of outdoorsmen continue in their Hawkeye family's footsteps. PHOTO COURTESY EBERT FAMILY The Secrets of Sleep (fall 2018) UI doctors and researchers work to shine light on the third of our lives we spend in the dark. Illustration: John Emigh Fry's Dream Team (fall 2018) FRYFest honors Hayden Fry's legendary 1983 coaching tree. PHOTO: UI ATHLETICS Going the Distance (spring 2018) UI-trained dentist Deb Carneol (92DDS) completes seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. PHOTO: MARK CONLON/WORLDMARATHONCHALLENGE.COM At 105, Our Oldest Hawkeye? (spring 2018) Catherine Shaw Shors (35BSC), who earned her business degree from Iowa more than eight decades ago, celebrated a milestone birthday in May. 1936 HAWKEYE YEARBOOK A Heroic Homecoming (spring 2018) Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo (92BA) receives a superhero's welcome at his alma mater. PHOTOS: Justin Torner

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