MSU Law alum honored with George N. Bashara Distinguished Alumni Award

By Jake Jenkins

Eric Sabree was awarded the prestigious George N. Bashara Distinguished Alumni Award May 12 at the Michigan State University College of Law Commencement ceremony.

The Bashara award was established to recognize outstanding alumni of Detroit College of Law, now MSU Law, who meet rigorous criteria, including participation in and contribution to alumni affairs, outstanding personal service to the college, personal accomplishments that enhance the reputation of the college.

It is named for George Bashara, a 1960 graduate of the Detroit College of Law that would become the Michigan State University College of Law. He was a well-respected lawyer in Michigan and a Michigan Court of Appeals Judge and a member of the DCL Board of Trustees

“I’m humbled and honored to receive the Bashara award,” Sabree said. “Judge Bashara was such an icon in the legal community and at the MSU Law. Also, I am appreciative because there are so many who attended the Law College and could have received such recognition.”

Sabree has been Wayne County Treasurer since April 2016. He works on behalf of 43 municipalities and is responsible for the receipt, custody, investment, and disbursement of all county funds with a special emphasis on the collection of delinquent property taxes.

Prior to being elected treasurer, Sabree served Wayne County as deputy treasurer and chief deputy treasurer in the Treasurer's office and chief assistant corporation counsel. Before joining the county, Sabree managed his own law practice and had a long public service career with the City of Detroit.

Along with his law degree, Sabree received his undergraduate degree from MSU. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan, the U. S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

“My time at DCL and MSU Law changed my life,” he said. “The law school experience was a blessing since I had been out of school for 15 years and was given the opportunity to earn a law degree. My father had to drop out of law school in the 1940's because he couldn't afford the tuition, so going to law school was a major step forward for our entire family. The law degree opened many doors for me and allowed me to combine my knowledge of the law with my previous work experience.”

Sabree also expressed the importance of building and maintaining relationships while in law school for current students.

“Cherish the relationships you make in law school and stay in touch with as many of your friends and classmates as possible,” he said. “My MSU Law classmates have become lifelong friends and we have helped each other professionally as well as personally. A talk to new students about this is important because when you're in the law school ‘battle’ you don't think about relationships, you're thinking about surviving and thriving in school.”