Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O’Connor, one of the most distinguished jurists in the history of the United States Supreme Court—and its first female justice—addressed the most profound legal issues of her age with wisdom, courage, and skill. After a long career in public service, including nearly a quarter century on the nation’s highest court, she retired in 2006.
Justice O’Connor spent her childhood on an isolated cattle ranch in southeastern Arizona tending to a variety of ranch chores, raising farm animals, and reading voraciously. After completing school in El Paso, Texas, she journeyed west to continue her education at Stanford University, where her professors inspired and challenged her to make a difference in her nation and the world.
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.
After being admitted to the bar, Justice O’Connor served as Deputy County Attorney of San Mateo County, California, from 1952 to 1953, and as a civilian attorney for the U.S. Army Quartermaster Market Center in Frankfurt, Germany, from 1954 to 1957. From 1958 to 1960, she practiced law in Maryvale, Arizona, and served as Assistant Attorney General of Arizona from 1965 to 1969. She was appointed to the Arizona State Senate in 1969, and was subsequently reelected to two two-year terms, during which she served as Majority Leader. In 1975, she was elected Judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court and served until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
President Reagan nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and she took her seat September 25, 1981. Since retiring from the court, she has continued to share her considered judgment on the national stage, including service on the Baker-Hamilton Commission.
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. 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). In the years since her investiture, she has been 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.
|Preceded by||College of William and Mary Chancellor|
|Henry A. Kissinger
|Sandra Day O'Connor
- "Justice O'Connor." Cornell University Law School. Accessed 3 December 2009.
- "Sandra Day O'Connor." Wikipedia. Accessed 3 December 2009.
- "Sandra Day O'Connor, Chancellor", College of William and Mary website. Accessed 2 September 2011.
- Office of the President Records, Gene R. Nichol, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
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 William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.
|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 William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in 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.|