Celebrating a Lifetime of Service

Judge Ann Mesle has demonstrated dedication to the legal profession and her alma mater

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. UMKC is honoring Ann Mesle (J.D. ‘72) with its Class of 2022 Bill French Alumni Service Award.

Judge Mesle’s distinguished work for UMKC is the definition of service. She has served on the UMKC Law Foundation (President), as a UMKC Trustee, Martha Starr Education Fund (Co-Chair) and the Board of Diastole Scholars’ Center (Chair). She has received the UMKC Law Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, its Alumni Achievement Award, and its Best Friend Award.

Mesle served for 13 years as a state trial judge, handling general civil and criminal trial dockets. She also served as an Administrative Judge for the Family Court for two years. Her service to the Kansas City bar is legendary. She has served on the boards of innumerable civic organizations, including Health Care/Health Forward Foundation (Executive Committee), Missouri Institute for Justice (Chair), Truman Medical Center Risk Committee, Jackson County Children’s Service Fund (Vice-Chair) and the Center for Conflict Resolution. 

What causes motivate you and are close to your heart?

Central to my life’s worldview is a belief in human dignity, and respect for the earth and the creatures that share it with us.

How can young people make a difference in their communities?

We need a new generation of leaders and volunteers expanding their participation in our civic, governmental, non-profit and business activities. This is already happening and new leaders continue to develop. 

What advice do you have for students who’d like to follow in your footsteps?

Students can learn from the successes and failures of earlier generations but no one needs to follow in my generation’s footsteps.  We need UMKC students and graduates to apply their educations, their time and their talents to better our communities by following their own paths.

What inspires you to give back to UMKC?

There is not a day that I do not feel a depth of gratitude because UMKC Law School offered me the opportunity to get a legal education.

About the Alumni Awards

Join us in honoring Wilson and other Class of 2022 awardees at an in-person celebration at 6 p.m. at the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center. To register, visit UMKC's Alumni Association website. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to donate to student scholarships, contributions can be made online. 

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Published: Apr 15, 2022

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