Judge Richard Neil DeGunther graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1961 and began his renowned career as a scholar and administrator of the law. In 1966 Richard DeGunther became a magistrate in the circuit court of Winnebago County. In 1971 this position was renamed Associate Circuit Court Judge. Hours after he assumed this new title, he was approached for a federal position as a referee in the bankruptcy court in the Western Division of the Northern District of Illinois. Once he entered the bankruptcy system Judge DeGunther served as a bankruptcy judge for 27 years. Judge DeGunther influenced the legal system through his court opinions and his teaching at the NIU College of Law where he shared his knowledge for 20 years. Judge DeGunther made a lasting difference in the lives of the students he mentored, in the community in which he lived and in the bankruptcy judicial system in which he served. Mrs. Betty DeGunther is establishing this fund as a perpetual tribute to her late husband and his success as a learned scholar and distinguished teacher in the field of law to which he dedicated his career.