Posted by William Nunnelley on 2006-12-19

Retired federal district Judge T. Virgil Pittman of Mobile, Ala., a life trustee of Samford University, has received the 2007 Howell Heflin Award from the Mobile and Baldwin County Bar Associations.

The award is presented annually to judges and lawyers who have brought honor to the legal profession. Judge Pittman was honored during the Mobile and Baldwin County Bench and Bar Conference Dec. 1 at Point Clear, Ala.

Judge Pittman retired last March after 40 years on the federal bench and 15 years as a circuit judge in Gadsden, Ala. He is known for his judicial rulings that broke down segregation barriers and extended civil rights in Mobile and southwest Alabama. He was elected to the Samford board of trustees in 1974.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.