PORTLAND — Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley has been named the winner of the University of Southern Maine’s Sampson Catalyst for Change Award.

The school says Saufley is the seventh winner of the annual award given by USM’s Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine.

The center each October presents the award to a Mainer who commemorates the life, work and values of the late Jean Byers Sampson, who devoted much of her life working on issues of diversity, academic freedom, civil rights and civil liberties.

Saufley is the first female chief of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.