All of these competitions take place to honor the memory of William H. Karchmer: a brilliant, caring man with a deep-seated commitment to social justice, equality and civil rights for all. Born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, and after being a businessman, in the mid-1960’s, Mr. Karchmer did something rather unusual for the time: he went to law school in his 30’s.
William Karchmer was a natural teacher and loved teaching. Some of his law school classmates say they only graduated because Bill Karchmer taught them so much. Working as a lawyer, he was a teacher for his clients, too, explaining their options and telling them the pros and cons of each one, so that they could make their own, informed choices.
He also served on his city's first Human Rights Commission and was one of the first people to see the dangers of hate groups like neo-Nazi and militia groups. He was an advocate for the rights of all those who had been, or were being oppressed.
Mr. Karchmer was a fascinating and hilarious storyteller. Although he had no children of his own, he loved and respected children, and was the adored and favorite uncle to his niece and nephew. The William H. Karchmer Competition combine his love of the law and logic, his enjoyment of the arts, his commitment to young people, and his belief in social justice.