At a press conference on November 17, 2017, Congressman Mike Turner announced that he had just introduced a bill in Congress to name the federal building in Dayton the “Walter H. Rice Courthouse,” to be named after Judge Walter H. Rice, long-time United States District Court Judge and long-time civic leader in the Dayton community. The nomination was based on a recommendation by a Citizens Committee appointed by Mike Turner and chaired by Merle Wilberding from Coolidge Wall Co., L.P.A. The committee also included Amanda Wright Lane (Wright Brothers Family), Idotha “Bootsie” Neal (former Dayton City Commissioner), Debbie Lieberman (Montgomery County Commissioner), Mary McDonald (Mayor, City of Trotwood), Charlie Faruki (Faruki Ireland Cox Rhinehart & Dusing PLL), Brady Kress (President, Dayton History), Margaret Quinn (former judge, City of Oakwood), Kermit Lowery (General Counsel, Lexis-Nexis), and Wilburt Bill Shanklin (Community Contributor).
Walter Rice graduated with a B.A. from Northwestern University, and then received a combined J.D./M.B.A. from Columbia University. Judge Rice has had numerous honors during his illustrious career, including honorary degrees from both the University of Dayton (Doctor of Laws, 1991) and Wright State University (Doctor of Human Letter, 2000). In 2014 he was the recipient of the Thomas J. Moyer Award for Judicial Excellence. Sitting first as a Dayton Municipal Court judge and then as a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge, Walter Rice was nominated to be a United States District Court Judge by President Jimmy Carter in 1980.