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Supreme Court Justice Breyer to speak at Stanford homecoming

STANFORD -- Newly appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, a member of Stanford's Class of '59, will be the keynote speaker at the university's Reunion Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 13-16.

Breyer is one of about 6,000 alumni who are expected to attend the Reunion Homecoming Weekend, which also will feature roundtable forums, “Classes Without Quizzes,” the Stanford- University of Southern California football game and a homecoming parade.

This year's reunion classes, ranging from 50-year to five-year anniversaries include the classes of '44, '49, '54, '59, '64, '69, '74, '79, '84 and '89, as well as graduate degree holders from the School of Earth Sciences.

Breyer's speech, at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, in Frost Amphitheater, will be followed by a special graduation ceremony to honor alumni from the class of 1944 who missed their original commencement because of service in World War II.

Breyer, 55, originally from San Francisco, majored in philosophy at Stanford before studying at Oxford and graduating from Harvard Law School. While at Stanford, he was a member of Delta Sigma Rho, a national honorary speech and debate fraternity, and co-chair of the Foreign Scholars Commission, a student organization that assisted international students in their transition to Stanford.

Before being named to the high court, Breyer was chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Other Stanford graduates on the U.S. Supreme Court are Chief Justice William Rehnquist, '48, and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, '50 and Anthony Kennedy, '58.

Breyer's talk is open to the public, as are other events during the homecoming weekend. No advance sign-up is necessary, and most events are free. Among them:

  • “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Farm,” an evening of campus and political satire, 8:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in Memorial Auditorium. John Bunzel, Hoover Institution senior research fellow emeritus, will take an irreverent look at America and Americans, as well as his own 40 years in higher education.
  • Roundtable Forum: “Protecting Our Planet and People: The Politics of Sharing the Earth,” 9-11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 14, Frost Amphitheater. Moderated by Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree, '74, expert panelists will discuss the escalating societal threats of the post-Cold War era, including overpopulation, disease, crime and environmental decline. Among the speakers will be Donald Kennedy, Stanford president emeritus and Bing Professor of Environmental Science; Katie McGinty, director of the White House Office on Environmental Policy; Gerald Torres, counsel to the U.S. attorney general for environmental policy and law, and Susan Weber, executive director of Zero Population Growth.
  • Dedication of the Charles B. Thornton Center for Engineering Management and Litton Plaza, 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, in Litton Plaza, adjacent to the Terman Engineering Building.
  • Exhibit and Reception: “International Explorations,” 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, Encina Hall second floor. The program will feature recent publications, slides and posters, and talks about programs and research at Stanford's Institute for International Studies.
  • Panel Discussion: “Prospects for Tax Reform for the 21st Century,” 3:30-4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 14, Ralph Landau Center for Economic Policy Research, corner of Galvez and Serra streets. Speakers will include faculty from the Stanford center, including Nobel laureate Kenneth J. Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor of Economics Emeritus.
  • Roundtable Forum: “What Is Public Service and What Can It Accomplish?” 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at the Haas Center for Public Service, Donald Kennedy Conference Room. Stanford alumni engaged in the nonprofit sector will debate how service efforts can address pressing social problems. An informal reception will follow at the Haas Center.
  • Arrillaga Family Sports Center Open House, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Visitors to the Department of Athletics' new home can hear interviews with Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame members, listen to a football pregame chalk talk with Stanford Athletic Services Coordinator Scott Schuhmann, watch varsity basketball practice, wrestling or martial arts demonstrations, among other activities. Stanford student-athletes will act as guides; former Stanford greats will mingle and sign autographs.
  • Stanford vs. USC Football Game, 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Stanford Stadium. To buy tickets call (415) 723-1021.
  • Theta Breakers Stanford 1994 Homecoming Run, 8 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, beginning at Stanford Stadium (enter at south end, Gate 2). This 5K/10K walk/run will pass through the heart of campus, rain or shine. Proceeds will benefit Child Advocates of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Race day registration ($18) and prerace check-in begins at 7 a.m.
  • Stanford Homecoming/Palo Alto Centennial Parade, 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, Palm Drive to University Avenue. For the weekend's grand finale, Stanford and the city of Palo Alto will join to celebrate Reunion Homecoming and Palo Alto's Centennial with an old-fashioned town-gown parade led by the Stanford family's turn-of-the-century, horse-drawn carriage.

Postparade festivities will continue on Hamilton Avenue in front of City Hall, where Palo Alto's yearlong Centennial Celebration will conclude with the unveiling of a centennial wall and a time capsule ceremony. Music and food vendors will accompany the celebration.



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