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Sandra Day O'Connor

Sandra Day O'Connor will speak at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 23, in Northrop Auditorium.

A supreme speaker

Sandra Day O'Connor headlines the 102nd University of Minnesota Alumni Association Annual Celebration.

May 15, 2006

One of the most powerful women in the world, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, will be the keynote speaker at the University of Minnesota Alumni Association's (UMAA) Annual Celebration next Tuesday, May 23, on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis. O'Connor's speech at 8 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium will be one of her first public speeches since her retirement in January 2006.

O'Connor, the first woman ever confirmed to the nation's highest court (in 1981), was often the moderate "swing vote" on an increasingly polarized court. She once wrote, in a dissenting opinion: "If indeed the choice is between adopting a balanced case-by-case approach ... and adopting a rigid rule that destroys everything in its path, I will choose the former." Among her votes were denying holding U.S. citizens indefinitely as enemy combatants, halting the 2000 presidential vote recount in Florida, and upholding both capital punishment and key abortion rights. Prior to joining the judiciary, O'Connor was majority leader of the Arizona Senate and a moderate Republican.

"Her legacy as one of the most influential justices in our nation's history makes this an event not to be missed," says Robert Stein, volunteer president of the UMAA board of directors and former dean of the University of Minnesota Law School. In 2004, Forbes magazine called O'Connor the fourth most powerful woman in the United States and the sixth most powerful in the world.

Tickets start at $30 ($15 students). All tickets are subject to facility and handling fees. To order tickets, call 612-624-2345 or visit Northrop Auditorium.

The UMAA's 102nd Annual Celebration is presented by Gray Plant Mooty and the Mooty Foundation. The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is an independent, 57,000-member organization dedicated to connecting alumni, students and friends in lifelong support of the University of Minnesota and each other.

For more information on the UMAA Annual Celebration, visit the Alumni Association.