Former student of Dean Forsythe donates to WSU business school

While it's very common for alumni to give back to their own alma mater, it’s decidedly less common for them to track down a former professor at another university and make a gift to that institution. Uncommon, yes, but it’s also exactly what Nicholas G. Pothitakis did recently in honor of Wayne State University School of Business Dean Robert Forsythe.

At Forsythe's request, Pothitakis' gift will go to fund international opportunities for WSU business students who would not otherwise be able to take advantage of such life-changing learning experiences.

Now a successful attorney with his own law firm in Iowa, in the 1980s Pothitakis was a young undergraduate student still finding his way through the University of Iowa Honors Program. He credits advice from - and interactions with - Forsythe, his faculty mentor in the program, with helping get him on a course for long-term career success.

"Dr. Forsythe helped me to decide on obtaining a law degree instead of the M.B.A. I was looking into," Pothitakis recalls. "He also encouraged me to set my sights high and apply to the top law schools. I was born and raised in a small town in Iowa and his nudge helped me to look beyond Iowa for a graduate education."

With his strong academic record, experience as a summer research assistant and a recommendation letter from Forsythe, Pothitakis was accepted at one of the top law schools in the country, the University of Texas School of Law. He earned his law degree in 1991 and returned to Iowa to practice law, primarily in the areas of workers’ compensation and personal injury.

Today, the Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C. has offices in Burlington and Keokuk, Iowa. Pothitakis is the 2015 president of the Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Inc. and a current member of the Board of Governors of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association. Pothitakis has received a number of recent honors, including being named to the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Best Lawyers in Iowa; 2013 and 2014 Super Lawyers list; and 2014 National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers.