The annual Alumni Awards are an IIT tradition to recognize those who made notable contributions to their communities, professions, and the university. This year, the luncheon ceremony will be held Friday, April 19, 2013 and will recognize 11 winners in eight categories.
Mary A. Melchor (LAW ’92) is among four winners of this year’s Professional Achievement Award, which honors outstanding achievement in any professional field. This award honors alumni whose achievements in their fields have brought distinction to themselves as well as credit to the university.
Recipients have achieved great success as recognized by any or all of the following qualities:
- Membership in peer-elected professional organizations marking the highest level of achievement in a given industry
- Industry awards and special recognition received
- Leadership positions held
Read on for more about Melchor and look for new winner profiles in IIT Today each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the event.
B.A. French and Education (’70), Illinois Wesleyan University; M.S. Education (’72), Chicago State University; M.B.A. Master in Business Administration (’77), Roosevelt University; J.D. (’92), IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
After graduating with her undergraduate degree in French and education, Melchor headed overseas to better learn the language. She returned to the United States and decided to pursue her master’s degree in special education—and spent the next 12 years teaching for Chicago Public Schools. She obtained an M.B.A. so she could teach young children the value of entrepreneurship. Later in life, after witnessing a difficult legal situation, she found her next calling: law. She has worked in several Chicago firms, in private practice and as the senior attorney for the Chicago Housing Authority. For the last 10 years, Melchor has been working for The Honorable Dorothy Brown in the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. She currently serves as the Inspector General for the Clerk’s Office.
Special to IIT Chicago-Kent
Melchor credits Chicago-Kent’s state-of-the-art technology and her relationship with the faculty for her success as an older student. “Access to the labs was my saving grace. It was that access, aggressive coursework, and mentorship from faculty that helped me mature as a person and as a lawyer. I created a foundation at Chicago-Kent that has allowed me to progress in every level of the law. It is always a joy to see my classmates and faculty practicing law in Chicago.”
Hopes for the Future
“Chicago-Kent provided me the education, environment, culture, and sense of community that I needed to succeed. I am very proud of my education and hope to create a legacy within my own family that will include IIT and Chicago-Kent College of Law.”
Melchor sees her time helping others as her hobby. She has been on the Cosmopolitan Community Church of Chicago Board of Directors for more than 25 years and also serves as the treasurer and legal consultant. She particularly enjoys doing pro bono work and helping the elderly. She prides herself on being involved in several professional organizations such as the National Bar Association, American Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association and the Women’s Bar Association, among others.