Post date: Janet Reno, Mary Robinson, Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Speak

Posted: April 18, 2003 — 9:30 a.m.

On the weekend of May 2-4, Harvard Law School will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first graduating class of women with an unprecedented gathering of prominent women in the worlds of government, law, business and academia. More than 700 alumnae are expected to attend the event, which will feature a wide range of speakers and panelists including Mary Robinson ’68, Janet Reno ’63, Pamela Thomas-Graham ’88, Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’56-’58, and Kathleen Sullivan ’81. On Saturday morning (May 3) female members of the class of 1953 with gather for a discussion of their experience at the law school and in the workplace.

“Celebration 50 will be one of the largest gatherings of women lawyers, and of Harvard Law graduates, in the history of the legal profession,” said Celebration 50 Chair Elizabeth Stong ’82 in a letter to her fellow alumnae. “We will inform, educate and inspire alumni and students.”

Recent years have seen continued growth in the role of women at Harvard Law School. Women now comprise nearly 50 percent of the student body; the number of female faculty members has more than doubled in the past 10 years; and on July 1, Professor Elena Kagan ’86 will become the first female dean in the history of the school.

“Fifty years ago, 13 courageous women joined the ranks of Harvard Law School graduates,” said Dean Robert Clark ’72. “In the following years, female graduates of this school have had a profound impact on both legal education and world affairs. This event is a fitting tribute to their many great accomplishments.”

The first day’s events will focus on the international scope of Harvard Law graduates. Former president of Ireland and former U.N. commissioner for human rights, Mary Robinson, will give a lunchtime address; and former Attorney General Janet Reno will speak at dinner. Panel discussions throughout the day will consider a broad range of international topics including women in international leadership, international women’s rights, and women in international law and business.

Day two will feature a celebration of the women of the class of 1953 including Judge Frederica Brenneman, on whose life the television program “Judging Amy” is based; and Charlotte Armstrong, the chair of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee and a former member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers. The discussion will be moderated by Judith Richards Hope ’64, the author of “Pinstripes and Pearls: The Women of Harvard Law Class of ’64.”

Other featured panelists on the second day include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Philip Lader ’71. The day’s keynote address will be given by Pamela Thomas-Graham, president and CEO of CNBC.

The final day will focus on whole life considerations. Current Harvard Law School students will discuss the school today, and Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan will give the closing address entitled, “What if the Framers had been feminists?: Constitutions and Women’s Rights.”

Related Links: