Attorney Donald E. Showalter ’62, the first Eastern Mennonite University graduate to earn a law degree, was recognized once again as among the Best Lawyers in America, an annual honor he has received since 2007.
For 57 years, Showalter has practiced with Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver, PLC. For most of those years he was also EMU’s attorney and served the Mennonite Church in tax and insurance regulatory issues. He is a founding trustee of Mennonite Praxis Mutual Funds.
He represented the Mennonite Church in the Supreme Court in the school case exempting Amish from high school education (Wisconsin v. Yoder, 1972).
He was also elected a “fellow” by the Virginia State bar, which places him among 1% of the practicing lawyers in the state.
At EMU, Showalter majored in history and English and met his late wife, math education major Marlene Collins ’62, who taught mathematics and psychology at James Madison University. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of North Carolina. (The Class of 1962 celebrates their 60th reunion this fall.)
Showalter taught business law and investments at EMU for the past 33 years in an effort to “give back” and in gratitude for numerous professors who offered encouragement and support.
“I had excellent professors such as Hubert Pellman, I.B. Horst, Grant Stoltzfus, John Lapp, and others who encouraged me to pursue a legal career although that was not unanimously shared by all of my professors and others,” Showalter said.
Showalter was not the only member of his family to record a “first.” His father Carl attended then-EMC and became the first graduate to be accepted into the Medical College of Virginia. He was planning to attend medical school; however, his father presented Broadway Drug Center as a gift. Carl instead went to MCV’s pharmacy school graduating in 1932.