The Treat Award for Excellence



Judge William W. Treat

Judge William W. Treat The Treat Award for Excellence was established by the National College of Probate Judges (“NCPJ”) in 1978 in honor of Hon. William W. Treat, founder and President -Emeritus of NCPJ. Judge Treat was appointed probate judge in Stratham, N.H., in 1958 and served until his retirement in 1983. He founded NCPJ in 1968 and served as its first President. He maintained a second residence in Naples, FL, where he died on January 10, 2010. Judge Treat was a renowned judge, author, diplomat, professor, and banker. He was a graduate of the University of Maine and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and received honorary doctor of law degree s from the University of Maine in 1992 and the University of New Hampshire in 2001. In 1991 he received the Silver Shingle Award, the highest alumni award presented by the Law School of Boston University.

Judge Treat’s accomplishments were many and included, among many more:

  • serving as a public delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York in 1987 and 1990;
  • being elected in 1988 by the United Nations Human Rights Commission as the U.S. member of the non -political Sub -Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities at the United Nations Human Rights Centre in Geneva, Switzerland ;
  • serving as chairman of the New Hampshire Judicial Council; authoring a three -volume text on probate law, Treat on Probate, and actively working in the reformation of the local courts in New Hampshire ;
  • founder and chairman of Bank Meridian, a national bank with offices in Portsmouth, Exeter, Hampton, and other New Hampshire seacoast communities:
  • served as a director of Federal Reserve Bank of Boston;
  • an original director of Unitil, Inc. – a utility holding company which owns several utility companies in New Hampshire;
  • chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party from 1954 to 1958; a member of the Republican National Committee from 1960 to 1964; secretary of the U.S. Electoral College from 1956 to 1964; a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1956, 1960, 1964 and 1988; and chairman of the program committee of the 1964 Republican Convention in San Francisco;


Judge Treat was a direct descendant of Gov. Robert Treat, who was colonial governor of Connecticut for 40 years, and a collateral descendant of Robert Treat Paine – a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a member of the Society of the Cincinnati, the Society of Mayflower Descendants and a former governor of the Society of Colonial Wars. He established the Treat Foundation – a family charitable trust devoted to various charitable purposes.

The Treat Award for Excellence was established by the National College of Probate Judges (“NCPJ”) in 1978 to recognize and encourage achievements in the field of probate law and related fields consistent with the goals of the NCPJ. The College annually selects one individual, a resident of the United States, who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the law or judicial administration in probate or related fields , which contribution is of outstanding merit. The award is presented at the annual banquet during the Fall NCPJ Conference. The Award Committee consults with leading probate practitioners and judges throughout the country, including members of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the Trust and Estate Division of the American Bar Associations’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section. Nominations usually come from probate practitioners, probate judges, and academic leaders.

Nominations for the award should be submitted no later than July 1 of each year . Nominations should include a brief description of the accomplishments of the nominee and the names of the nominator(s). The recipient is expected to attend the awards ceremony in November and personally accept the award at the annual banquet.

Nominations must be submitted in writing to

National College of Probate Judges, 300
Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA 23185 .

Treat Award Recipients

1979 J. Pennington Straus Philadelphia, PA
1980 Judge Harold R. Clark Jacksonville, FL
1981 Prof. Edward Halbach Berkeley, CA
1982 William P. Cantwell Denver, CO
1983 Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Washington, DC
1984 Dean William Schwartz Boston, MA
1985 Edward B. Winn Dallas, TX
1986 Judge Kenneth Pat Gregory Houston, TX
1987 Prof. A. James Casner Cambridge, MA
1988 Alexander D. Forger New York, NY
1989 Judge Alfred Podolski Dedham, MA & Judge Glenn E. Knierim Simsbury, CT
l990 Melvin J. Peterson, Sr. Minneapolis, MN
1991 Judge George C. Berry Kansas City, MO
1992 John J. Lombard, Jr. Philadelphia, PA
1993 Prof. Richard V. Wellman Athens, GA
1994 James R. Wade Denver, CO
1995 Judge Floyd Propst Atlanta, GA
1996 Professor Eugene F. Scoles Eugene, OR
1997 Professor Stanley M. Johanson Austin, TX
1998 Judge Joseph S. Mattina Buffalo, NY
1999 Judge Marion Guess Decatur, GA
2000 Judge Isabella Horton Grant San Francisco, CA
2001 Professor John H. Langbein New Haven, CT
2002 Professor Mary Radford Atlanta, GA
2003 Judge R.R. Denny Clunk Alliance, OH
2004 Professor S. Alan Medlin Columbia, SC & Mr. Malcolm A. Moore Seattle, WA
2005 Professor Amy Morris Hess Knoxville, TN
2006 Judge Arnold H. Gold Studio City, CA
2007 Judge John Maher Portsmouth, NH
2008 Sally Balch Hurme Washington, DC
2009 Prof. Rebecca Morgan Gulfport, FL
2010 Judge Milton L. Mack, Jr. Detroit, MI
2011 Prof. David M. English Columbia, MO
2012 Judge Ann A. Scott Timmer Phoenix, AZ
2013 Judge Susan M. Bazis Omaha, NE
2014 Mary Joy Quinn San Francisco, CA
2015 Judge Andrew Klein, Phoenix, AZ
2016 Shale D. Stiller, Baltimore, MD