On October 17th, 1986 graduate David A. Torres was presented with Gonzaga’s Distinguished Alumni Merit Award. The Distinguished Alumni Merit Award is presented annually to those graduates who have exemplified the ideals of the University. The DAMA award is one of the highest awards Gonzaga University awards to alumni.
Torres was born and raised in Porterville, California. His parents, Antonio and Gloria Torres, raised a family of eight earning their living as migrant farm workers. In 1979, Mr. Torres graduated from Porterville High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and California State University — Fresno. That same year, he successfully completed basic training, and three days later started college.
While at Fresno, Mr. Torres was involved with M.E.Ch.A., El Teatro del Espiritu, served two terms as the President of Chicanos in Law, and also served as Senator-at-Large on the SCUF student body association, to name a few. In 1983, Torres was selected to serve as speaker at the Chicano Commencement, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration.
After receiving his BA, Torres was awarded a scholarship to study at Gonzaga Law. While earning his JD, Mr. Torres completed two years of military studies in the ROTC program, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army in May, 1985. In May of 2013, Mr. Torres retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. While at Gonzaga Law, Mr. Torres was extensively involved in the Clinic, and he still maintains an advocacy of experience-based legal education that grew from that experience.
For nearly 25 years, Mr. Torres has managed a private firm as a criminal defense trial attorney. Throughout the years, Mr. Torres has defended the criminally accused in numerous high-profile cases in both state and federal courts. Torres has also served in numerous political, civic, and bar association positions, and has received many awards for his service to these organizations. Mr. Torres currently serves on the California State Bar Board of Trustees, District 5. He is the State Bar liaison to both the Solo and Small Firm and Criminal Defense sections of the State Bar. Mr. Torres is the first Latino to be elected to this district and serves on the State Bar Membership Oversight, Stakeholder, and Audit Committees, respectfully.