Jim Mitchell has a long history of service to Michigan Tech. As a student he was active with Theta Tau fraternity, served as treasurer of Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, junior class student government representative and senior class president. He served on Michigan Tech's Board of Trustees from 1993-2001, including three years as its chair.
His service to the university also includes a 1975-1985 stint as a trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund, where he continues to participate actively as a Life Trustee. He served on the Four Million Fund Campaign in the early 1970s, helped to spearhead the fundraising effort for the $20 million Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, served on the planning committee for the Leaders for Innovation campaign, and is currently active on the Michigan Tech Football Advisory Committee and the "Bash at the Big House" planning committee.
Mitchell is a past president of the Grand Rapids Alumni Chapter and helped establish a chartering procedure and documentation for local chapters. He has been inducted into the Michigan Tech Academy of Sciences and Arts and is a member of the McNair and Second Century Societies.
Mitchell received a BS in Chemistry in 1965, under the guidance of the legendary Doc Berry, and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan in 1968. He has practiced intellectual property law for over 30 years and is the founder of the Grand Rapids patent, trademark and copyright law firm, Mitchell Intellectual Property Law. He has experience in all phases of intellectual property law, and has practiced extensively in the chemical, biochemical, pharmaceutical and mechanical arts, and in the field of trademark, tradename and domain name protection. He has extensive patent litigation experience, including pharmaceutical patent litigation.
He has served as a member of four judicial screening committees recommending meritorious candidates for appointments to the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and as an Intellectual Property Law Lecturer to the Federal Judiciary, for the Federal Judicial Center.
He has served on the Mayor's task force for attracting knowledge-based industry to Grand Rapids. He serves or has served as an elder in the Reformed Church, a member of the Michigan Citizens Council for Michigan Public Universities, and currently is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mel Trotter Ministries, serving the hungry, homeless and hurting of West Michigan. He is a member of the Jonathan and David diversity fellowship.
When not practicing law, Mitchell enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading history and science, music, and playing golf, softball, hockey, swimming and skiing.
He and his wife, Joan, both grew up in Grandville, Michigan, have two sons and live in Grand Rapids.
In 2006, Mitchell received the Outstanding Service Award from the Michigan Tech Alumni Association.
Excerpted from the 2004 Alumni Reunion Awards Program
Updated June 2013