March 22, 2000
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will deliver a Greater Issues address at The Citadel on Tuesday, April 4 at 11 a.m. in McAlister Field House. Her lecture is free and open to the public. An honor guard will meet Justice O'Connor at Bond Hall at 10:45 a.m. and escort her to McAlister.
Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, was appointed to the nation's highest court by President Reagan in 1981. A native of Arizona, Justice O'Connor graduated magna cum laude from Stanford University in 1950, and finished third in a class of 102 at Stanford University Law School in 1952, two places behind fellow Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.
Though she had an outstanding academic record and was an editor of the Stanford Law Review, O'Connor was unable to find employment as a lawyer with firms in San Francisco and Los Angeles except for one offer of a position as a legal secretary. She then turned to the public sector, serving as deputy county attorney in San Mateo, California and later as a civilian attorney with the Army in Germany, where her husband was stationed soon after they were married.
Upon their return to the United States, the O'Connors settled in Phoenix, Arizona where she devoted several years to raising the couple's three sons. In 1965, O'Connor returned to work as one of Arizona's assistant attorneys general. In 1969, Governor Jack Williams appointed O'Connor to fill a seat in the state senate. She won re-election twice and, in 1972, was elected by her Republican colleagues as the state senate majority leader, becoming the first woman in the country to hold such a position.
Justice O'Connor was elected to a superior court judgeship in 1974. In 1979, she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals, a post she held until President Reagan appointed her to the Supreme Court.
The Greater Issues Series is the premier lecture series at The Citadel. Since it was established in 1954, the series has brought presidents, heads of state, scholars, diplomats, journalists and distinguished business and military leaders to The Citadel campus.