Skip Navigation

Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1981-2006, to Speak at the University of Oklahoma

OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1981-2006, to Speak at the University of Oklahoma

Sandra Day O'Connor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ml/1-27-14

CONTACT: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

NORMAN — The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1981 to 2006, will speak at a President’s Associates dinner at the University of Oklahoma on Thursday, Feb. 6. Prior to dinner, O’Connor will deliver the Henry Lecture to students at the OU College of Law.

Often referred to as the most influential woman in America, O’Connor became the first woman named to the country’s highest court, after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

“We are honored to have Justice O’Connor visit the university,” said President David L. Boren. “Her visit is especially timely as we consider the independent role of the judiciary in our state.”

During her tenure on the Supreme Court, O’Connor was known for her dispassionate and meticulously researched opinions. O’Connor was an unwavering proponent of state autonomy, arguing that the framers of the Constitution intended for the federal government to institute its regulations itself, not force the states to do it for them. Her support for state rights has been traced by many back to her experience in state government.

O’Connor earned both a bachelor’s degree in economics and a law degree from Stanford University. In law school, she served on the Stanford Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif, a legal honor society.

After graduation, however, she was unable to find a job as a private sector lawyer. She turned to public service, accepting a job as the deputy county attorney for San Mateo, Calif. When her husband, also a lawyer, was drafted into the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps and sent to Frankfurt, Germany, O’Connor served as a civilian lawyer in the Quartermaster’s Corps.

Settling in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1957, O’Connor started a law firm with one partner, handling a wide variety of small cases. She later served as an Arizona assistant state attorney general. When a state senator resigned to take an appointment in Washington D.C., she was appointed to the vacant seat, and was elected for two more terms.

After serving as the first woman majority leader in the United States, from 1972 to 1974, she became a trial judge in Phoenix. In 1979, the newly elected Democratic governor nominated O’Connor to the Arizona Court of Appeals. Less than two years later, she was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate.

O’Connor served as chancellor of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. from 2005 to 2012, and currently serves on the board of trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

On Aug. 12, 2009, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor of the United States, by President Barack Obama.

She is also the author of several books, including the recently published Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court.

Limited seating is available by reservation for OU students, faculty and staff, with overflow seating available to the public. For reservations, more information and accommodations on the basis of disability, please call OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-3784 or email specialevents@ou.edu.

Recent News

OU Student Receives Udall Scholarship

Daniel Hayden

NORMAN - University of Oklahoma honors student Daniel R. Hayden has been named a 2018 Udall Scholar. The Udall Foundation Scholarship recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate a commitment to careers related to the environment or to Native American public policy or health care. Hayden is one of 50 nationwide selected for the honor. Read more

OU Professor to Receive IEEE Satellite Communications Technical Contribution Award

Mohammed Atiquzzaman

Mohammed Atiquzzaman, is the recipient of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Satellite Communications Technical Contribution Award for 2018. The annual award is given to an accomplished, senior-level researcher who has achieved outstanding results in satellite communications and recognizes excellent scientific contributions done by academia and industries. Atiquzzaman will receive the award at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kansas City, Missouri, May 20-24. Read more

OU Physicist Developing Quantum-Enhanced Sensors for Real-Life Applications

Albert Marino

A University of Oklahoma physicist, Alberto M. Marino, is developing quantum-enhanced sensors that could find their way into applications ranging from biomedical to chemical detection. In a new study, Marino’s team, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, demonstrates the ability of quantum states of light to enhance the sensitivities of state-of-the-art plasmonic sensors. The team presents the first implementation of a sensor with sensitivities considered state-of-the-art and shows how quantum-enhanced sensing can find its way into real-life applications. Read more

OU Class of 2018 Gift to Honor Borens

The Boren Green

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma Class of 2018 will celebrate their time at OU through a dedicated green space that will add to OU’s national reputation as one of America’s most beautiful campuses. Located along Lindsey Street in front of the newly completed Residential Colleges, this year’s class gift will fund a picturesque lawn named The Boren Green. Read more

OU Students Receive National Security Education Program Award for International Study

The Boren Awards

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma senior James Ratcliff and OU junior Libby Trowbridge recently were selected as recipients of the prestigious Boren Award for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program. Thirty-four OU students have received the award since the program began in 1994. Read more

OU-Led Research Team Accelerating Antibiotic Discovery

Zygurskaya and Rybenkov

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma professors, Helen Zgurskaya and Valentin Rybenkov, and team are addressing the challenge and critical need for new antibiotics that can fight infections caused by the multi-drug resistant bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, considered an urgent threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The OU team responded to a special request for applications from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, and received a five-year, $5.7 million grant to develop new, more effective approaches against Gram-negative bacteria that are protected by multi-drug efflux pumps and low-permeability membranes. Read more

News Archives

2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018


For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.