Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Awarded UM Doctorate - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Awarded UM Doctorate

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MISSOULA -

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is visiting Missoula this week and Friday received an honorary doctorate from the University of Montana Law School.

Even though no cameras were allowed at the event at the request of Justice O'Connor, the University was able to provide audio and still photos of the event.

Engstrom says honorary doctorates are usually awarded at the graduation commencement, but O'Connor was unable to make it last spring.

Along with Friday's ceremony, she has met with high school students and undergrads and will meet with law students tomorrow.

Justice O'Connor is the first woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, O'Connor served with distinction until 2006.

The recipient of several awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian honor, Justice O'Connor has often been called one of  the most powerful women in the world.

Governor Steve Bullock said Friday the example O'Connor sets for future generations is one of the many reasons she deserves the honorary degree.

"Because of your work, because of Justice O'Connor's work and leadership the opportunities open to my daughters are light years away from the opportunities open to her when she graduated at the top of her class at Stanford Law School."

Justice O'Connor spoke about the valor of civic education and her effort to make sure future generations understand the philosophical foundation of our country.

"An informed and involved group of citizens is the life blood of our democracy and our country."

Overall, she says she is honored.

"I'm so appreciative. I love Montana! I like this University! And I am very grateful for this day."

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