Sandra Day O’Connor to deliver inaugural Rathbun Lecture

Sandra Day O'Connor, former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, will talk about how purpose and values lead to a happy and fulfilling life when she delivers the inaugural lecture in a series dubbed "Harry's Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life" at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, in Memorial Church.

O'Connor's lecture and visit are in memory of the late law Professor Harry Rathbun and his late wife, Emilia. Last year, the Palo Alto Foundation for Global Community, which is headed by the Rathbuns' son, Richard, established the Harry and Emilia Rathbun Fund for Exploring What Leads to a Meaningful Life with a $4.5 million endowed gift to the Office for Religious Life at Stanford. The fund will support activities that encourage self-reflection and moral inquiry, and will invite major figures to come to campus to talk to students about personal values, beliefs and motivations.

"We are honored and pleased that Justice O'Connor will deliver the first-ever Rathbun Lecture," said the Rev. William "Scotty" McLennan, dean for religious life. "Professor Rathbun would have been particularly delighted by her selection. Having listened to the law professor's own lectures while a student at Stanford Law School, Justice O'Connor has a deep appreciation for the value of reflecting on a meaningful life. We look forward to her sharing the wisdom she has gained from her early days on the Lazy B Ranch, her undergraduate and law school years at Stanford, her being a pioneer for women in the legal profession and her years of service on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Tickets to O'Connor's April 22 lecture are available at the Stanford Ticket Office to individuals who present their Stanford ID.

As the first Rathbun visiting fellow, O'Connor also will spend Sunday through Tuesday meeting with small groups of students and faculty on such topics as public service and citizenship, ranching and the Western life, and women in the professions. These events are by invitation.

O'Connor earned her bachelor's degree from Stanford in 1950 and graduated from Stanford Law School in 1952. She was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1981 and retired in January 2006.