Carl Vacketta

2017 D.C. Illini of the Year

The University of Illinois Alumni Club of Greater Washington, D.C. is proud to honor Carl Vacketta - BS Commerce, 1963 UIUC and J.D. Law, 1965 UIUC, as our 2017 DC Illini of the Year.  
Carl was born in Westville, Illinois on August 3, 1941.  After attending Westville Township High School, and graduating in May, 1959, he went on to attend the University of Illinois.  While at U of I, he was a four year member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, in 1963.  After graduation, he passed the bar exam and became a licensed attorney in November, 1965.   
In March, 1966 he was activated during the Vietnam War, but served his entire time on active duty (first Quartermaster Corps, then Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, U.S. Army) as an instructor in procurement law.  He left active duty in late 1968, as a Captain.  
In September, 1968, he joined the law firm of Sellers, Conner & Cuneo (SC&C), specializing in government contract law.  He was made a partner in November, 1973.  In April, 1974 he left SC&C, with another law partner, to form the first D.C. branch office of Pettit & Martin (P&M), a California based law firm.  In April, 1995, while head of the D.C. office of P&M, he merged that office into what was then Piper & Marbury.  Today this later firm is called DLA Piper, one of the largest law firms in the world (approximately 4,200 attorneys in 40 countries in about 75 officers).  
After almost 50 years of practice as a distinguished government contracts lawyer, Carl retired from DLA Pipper on December 31, 2014.  He remains active, and currently serves on three non-profit boards (including the University of Illinois Foundation), and continues to teach Government Contract Law at Georgetown University Law Center (for the past 45 years).  
Former DC Illini of the Year Award Recipients 

2016 Scott "Scooter" Altman 

2015 Dr. Francis Slakey

2014 Michael Jaworek 

2013 G. Robert Hillman 

2012 David Van Buren

2011 Mr. Stephen Moore 

2010 Dr. Evan Glazer

2009 Col. Charles E. McGee

2008 Rob Kennedy

2007 Edwin Adams

2006 Dan Balz

2005 Sheila C. Johnson

2004 John R. Dobrinsky

2003 Joe Urschel

2002 John W. McDonald

2001 Victor S. Kamber

2000 Lawrence J. Wilker

1999 Dr. Paul Peterson

1998 Gant and Fran Redmon

1997 Robert W. Doubek

1996 Roger Simon

1995 Eddie N. Williams

1994 James Brady

1993 Lynn Martin

1992 Bernard Shaw

1991 Wilma L. Vaught

1990 Harold R. Bruno

1989 Charles A. Bowsher

1988 Robert C. Mitchell

1987 Godfrey Sperling

1986 Robert Novak