An excerpt from a story in the Tucson Citizen, Fall, 2001:
It was called "Disneyland" back when Catalina High School opened its doors in 1957.
"It was very fancy," recalled Tucson attorney James Sakrison, who was among the first students at Catalina. "It had all kinds of bells and whistles."
The Tucson native, whose parents moved here in 1928, spent his first couple of years at Tucson High before Catalina opened, at 3645 E. Pima St. "At the time, they told us it was the largest school in the country," Sakrison said of Tucson High.
He played basketball and ran track at Catalina before graduating in 1959.
Sakrison, the son of banker Jack Sakrison and his wife, Mary, went on to UA, where he received his bachelor's and law degrees. He has remained in private practice, specializing in estate planning and corporate and real estate law.
He married his college sweetheart, Dee Ann Scofield, and they raised two children, Holly and Jim.
Sakrison, 60, said his strong connection to the Tucson community helped him develop his downtown law practice.
"My friends did not flock in at first," Sakrison said. "But as you become older, it becomes a tremendous advantage. You have a great deal of credibility because of all the time you have spent in Tucson."
In business dealings he frequently runs into friends from grade school and high school.
"It's been extremely positive for me," he said.
Sakrison has given much of his time to the Tucson community. He was selected as the Tucson Chamber of Commerce's Man of the Year in 1999 for his contributions to youths and families through a variety of organizations, including 27 years of involvement in the YMCA. He has also served on the UA Foundation's board and has been involved with the Tucson Conquistadores, Pima County Bar Association, American Red Cross, Tucson Medical Foundation and the Tucson Airport Authority.
Sakrison knows that Tucson and the schools that taught him helped make him a success. "You get out of your community what you give to it," he said.