Saint Ignatius High School

The Hon. Leo M. Spellacy '52 Bellarmine Award

The Honorable Leo M. Spellacy '52 Bellarmine Award recognizes an alumnus for excellence in the legal field, promotion of fair and ethical principles in law, and exemplary service to Saint Ignatius High School.

The Honorable Leo M. Spellacy '52 Bellarmine Award 2024 Recipient

Justice Michael Donnelly ’84

Throughout his accomplished career, Michael has constituently and selflessly served his Alma Mater. His excellence in the legal field and exemplary service to Saint Ignatius High School are deserving of recognition.

Prior to joining the state Court, Justice Donnelly served as a judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, General Division for 14 years, from 2005-2018. He was elected to the seat in November 2004 and re-elected in 2010 and 2016. In addition, from 2010-2017, he was one of five judges on Cuyahoga County’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Court, which oversees criminal cases involving defendants who suffer from severe mental illness or developmental disabilities.

Mike loves Cleveland and has lived here his whole life, he attended John Carroll and remains very active in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

The award was renamed in honor of the first Bellarmine Award recipient, The Honorable Leo M. Spellacy '52. Judge Spellacy is a retired judge on the 8th District Court of Appeals and received the award in 1983 for excellence in the legal field. He also served on the Saint Ignatius High School Board of Regents, was president of the Alumni Executive Council, was awarded the Founders' Award in 1984, and received the The Honorable John V. Corrigan '38 Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2003.

"Judge Spellacy is one of the most highly regarded judges in our state’s history," says Justice Michael P. Donnelly '84. "His strength of character and record of outstanding public service brings honor to our school’s history of producing men for others. He will forever serve as a role model for those of us privileged to serve in the legal profession."

Judge Spellacy's career began in the city of Cleveland law department and progressed through the county prosecutor's office, and the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas, where he was presiding judge for 15 years. He then became a judge in the the 8th District Ohio Court of Appeals. In 2010, Spellacy received the St. Thomas More Award from The Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland due to his professional achievements and extensive community involvement in both the legal and spiritual sectors.

"I wanted to be a lawyer and that's what I've done all my life," says Judge Spellacy. "I felt very honored when I received the award in 1983. When Fr. Guiao informed me that the award would be named in my honor I felt very fortunate and blessed."

Prayer of St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)

Lord our God, creator of the world, your power and godhead are seen in the things you have made. As we give you glory for the wisdom and teaching of St. Robert Bellarmine, we ask that mankind may be obedient to the faith revealed to us in Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Honorable Leo M. Spellacy '52 Bellarmine Award Recipient

Anthony J. Coyne '78
Kevin M. Hinkel '73
Edward M. Mullin '72
Hugh A. Carlin '70
Duane Deskins '72
Mark A. Stanton '69
Brian E. Hurley '72
John S. Polito '70
Patrick T. Jones '69
Thomas G. Kelley '63 
Thomas S. Kilbane '59*
R. Emmett Moran '65
Terrance P. Gravens '69*
James V. Moroney, Jr. ’71
Kenneth J. Lusnia ’66
Thomas P. Gill ’62*
Gary W. Johnson ’72
The Honorable Kenneth R. Callahan, Jr. ’73
William T. Monroe ’44*

Timothy D. Johnson ’66
Peter A. Carfagna ’71
Frederick R. Nance ’71
The Honorable William J. Coyne, Sr. ’53
John G. Cooney ’70
Arthur R. FitzGerald ’50*
Patrick J. Jordan ’75*
The Honorable Francis E. Sweeney ’52*
The Honorable James M. Porter ’49*
The Honorable Harry A. Hanna ’57
Robert C. Bouhall ’48*
Edward J. Maher ’57*
Joseph P. Meissner ’59
Frank S. Hurd ’31*
Thomas E. Lenahan ’47*
John T. Corrigan ’41*
Donald P. Traci ’44*
The Honorable John V. Corrigan ’38*
The Honorable Leo M. Spellacy ’52*


  • 2020 Recipient: Kevin M. Hinkel '73

    Attending grade school at Saint Patrick’s in West Park, Kevin Hinkel ’73 wavered over his high school choice, and credits his father’s strong input to choose Saint Ignatius High School -- a decision leading to a career in law. "I’ve been blessed to stay close to the Jesuits, observing them face hard decisions and make good judgements. They’ve not stopped teaching me the importance of spirituality in every aspect of life," he says.

  • 2019 Recipient: Edward M. Mullin '72

    In the early 1990s Ed started a law practice in Cleveland’s Terminal Tower. A trial lawyer, Ed handles civil and criminal cases involving “daily heartache” in families: accidents, substance abuse, domestics, robberies, guns and murders. “Law is a tough profession,” says Ed. “Stressful, yet rewarding, law is perfect for those who want to stand up for the underdog.” Ed is guided by the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and the Holy Rosary, representing poor and mentally ill people trapped in the “system.”

  • 2018 Recipient: Hugh A. Carlin '70

    When asked about his philosophy on the law, Hugh explains, “My mom would always say, ‘Whenever you encounter someone, treat them how you would want to be treated.’ She told me to see the good in them, to see the face of Christ, but also be the face of Christ. I especially use this approach with the elderly, as they often need more than just an attorney.”

  • 2017 Recipient: Duane Deskins '72

    Duane Deskins ’72 had never been to the west side of Cleveland before visiting Saint Ignatius. He had never met a lawyer before going to college. Now the Chief of Prevention, Intervention and Opportunity for Youth & Young Adults, Deskins received the 2017 Bellarmine Award.