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Kerry-Ann Hamilton
Media Relations Manager

Tiffany Brown
Communications Associate

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Receive Honorary Degree

WASHINGTON (May 3, 2010) - Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor will receive a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), for more than two decades of extraordinary work in the courtroom and on the bench, during the Howard University 142nd Commencement Convocation at 10 a.m. on May 8, 2010.

Justice Sotomayor is a trailblazer, a dreamer and a firm believer in hard work. She made history as only the third woman to sit on the highest court when President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009; she assumed this role August 8, 2009.

Justice Sotomayor was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979 to 1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984 to1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992 to1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998 to 2009.

Harold Ford Jr, five-term congressman (D-TN), will serve as the 2010 Commencement speaker. A distinguished politician and public servant, Ford has been described by President Bill Clinton as the “walking, living embodiment of where America ought to go in the 21st century.” He currently serves as Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council and will receive a special citation of achievement.

The other 2010 honorees include: Dr. David C. Driskell, distinguished professor of Art, emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park, Doctor of Humanities; Mr. Hill Harper, award-winning actor and author, Doctor of Humanities; Ms. Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, Doctor of Humanities; and Ms. Robin Roberts, anchor Good Morning America, Doctor of Humane Letters.

Graduation exercises will be broadcast live over Howard University’s WHUR 96.3 FM and WHUT-TV, Howard University’s public broadcast station. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at Burr Gymnasium, 6th and Girard Streets, N.W.

WHAT: Howard University's 142nd Commencement Convocation
WHEN: Saturday, May 8, 2010, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Howard University, Upper Quadrangle of Main Campus


Photo Credit: Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

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