Sandra Day O'Connor

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Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman nominated to serve on the US Supreme Court, a position she held from 1981 until 2006. In 2005, she became the chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

Justice O’Connor earned a B.A. in economics (magna cum laude) from Stanford University and a LL.B. from Stanford Law School. She was an editor of the law review and graduated third in her law class—two spots behind her friend and future colleague, the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. President Reagan nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat September 25, 1981. Warren E. Burger, another future chancellor at William & Mary, was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court when she joined the court.

Justice O’Connor was selected on October 4, 2005 to succeed the Honorable Henry A. Kissinger as Chancellor of the College of William and Mary. She was the first American woman to serve as chancellor of the university.

The investiture ceremony for Justice O'Connor took place on April 7, 2006, the same day as the inauguration of Gene R. Nichol as President of the College of William and Mary (Chancellor, 2005-20006, Acc. 2007.047, Box 3, Office of the President. Gene R. Nichol Records, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary). She was an important presence on the William and Mary campus, addressing prospective students, visiting classes, meeting with law and undergraduate students and with faculty and staff, and keynoting academic conferences sponsored by the College’s Philosophy Department and its Law School. She also gave the Commencement address at the Law School in 2006 and 2010. Her term as chancellor officially concluded in 2012.


Preceded by College of William and Mary Chancellor Succeeded by
Henry A. Kissinger

2000-2005

Sandra Day O'Connor

2005-2012

Robert M. Gates

2012-Present

Material in the Special Collections Research Center

  • University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • University Archives Faculty-Alumni File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
  • University Archives Photograph Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

References

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To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center.

Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at spcoll@wm.edu or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary.

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of the College of William and Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information available here is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in the Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.