Sandra Day O’Connor to Inaugurate Pappas Visiting Scholar Series in March at Stockton

Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O'Connor
Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor

Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (ret.), the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, will be the inaugural speaker for The Pappas Visiting Scholar Series at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey on March 24, 2014.

This ticketed event will be free and open to the public and the Stockton community.

Justice O’Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, and served until 2006. Hers was a key vote in many important cases, including the upholding of Roe v. Wade.

Since leaving the high court, she has continued her judicial service by hearing cases in the United States Courts of Appeals.

Justice O’Connor was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Thomas Wilner, head of Shearman & Sterling’s International Trade & Investment Practice in Washington, D.C., will serve as moderator for Justice O’Connor’s 6 p.m. presentation in the Sports Center.

In addition to her Supreme Court service, O’Connor was judge of the Maricopa County Superior Court from 1975 until 1979, when she was appointed to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
She also served as a state senator from Arizona from 1969-75 and was assistant attorney general of Arizona from 1965-1969.

Justice O’Connor has served in leadership positions and on boards for the Rockefeller Foundation, the College of William and Mary, the American Bar Association and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, among others.

Stockton Trustee Dean Pappas and his wife, Zoe, established the Dean C. and Zoe S. Pappas Visiting Scholar Endowment Fund in 2012, to bring noted scholars and thought leaders speakers to Stockton for classes, workshops and public events.

Pappas has said he underwent “a transformational experience” as an undergraduate college student at Dickinson College in 1961, when he heard the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak.

“Until that point I was sort of drifting my way through college, but Dr. King’s message was very impressive,” said Pappas. “It made me start to think more seriously about my future. Basically, his message was to act responsibly. It was a moment that changed my life.”

Pappas, a member of the Stockton Board of Trustees since 2006, wanted students at Stockton to have similar access to outstanding visiting scholars.
Information on ticketing will be available in the coming weeks. Tickets will be free, but access to seating must be pre-arranged.

For more information on the Pappas Visiting Scholar Series, visit

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