Christel Marquardt, '74, Named 2014 Woman of Distinction

Photograph: Christel MarquardtThe American Business Women’s Association (AWBA) Career Chapter in Topeka has selected The Honorable Christel Marquardt, '74, as their 2014 Woman of Distinction.

Speaking about the award, Marquardt said, “Being recognized by the Career Chapter of ABWA has special meaning for me. When I graduated from law school, there weren’t any other women practicing law in Topeka. I joined Career Chapter and it gave me the opportunity to network with other business women. Receiving this honor now has caused me to look back at all that has happened in my life and recognize how truly blessed I have been with family, friends, and career.”

One of just six women in a class of 189 students, Marquardt graduated with honors from Washburn University School of Law in 1974. She engaged in the private practice of law for 21 years, and eventually formed Marquardt & Associates, L.L.C. with her son, Andrew. Marquardt served as a Kansas Court of Appeals judge for 17 years before retiring in January 2013.

Marquardt was honored at the AWBA Career Chapter’s annual luncheon on March 11, 2014. This event raises funds for women pursuing degrees at Washburn University and the Washburn Institute of Technology. The first luncheon was held in 1983, and to-date, the Chapter has raised over $300,000 for scholarships.

Linda Henry Elrod, '72, Richard S. Righter Distinguished Professor of Law, was honored in 2006 as the ABWA's Woman of Distinction.