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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in September was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, UM’s highest honor.
“Justice O’Connor is one of the most influential people of our time,” UM President Royce Engstrom said at the ceremony, which was held at the George and Jane Dennison Theatre.
O’Connor has long-standing connections to the UM School of Law. She delivered the inaugural address of the school’s prestigious Jones Tamm Lecture Series in 1997, and she sat by designation on a panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which conducted oral arguments at the school in 2011.
O’Connor, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. She retired in 2006 and since has continued her judicial service by hearing cases in the U.S. Courts of Appeals. In 2009, in recognition of her lifetime accomplishments, President Barack Obama awarded O’Connor with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
During her UM visit, she met with high school students and with UM students from the Davidson Honors College, the Global Leadership Initiative, and the law school.