Distinguished Alumna Award-winner
Women’s Center To Honor Arizona’s Trailblazing Gov.
April 7, 2004 --
2003, Janet Napolitano, a 1983 U.Va. Law School graduate, became
the 21st governor of Arizona and the first woman
to succeed another
woman as any state’s governor. In recognition of her accomplishments
in law and public service, the University of Virginia Women’s
Center will honor Napolitano with its 2004 Distinguished Alumna
Award on April 21.
will give a public lecture, “Closing
the Leadership Gap: The Necessity for Women in Leadership Positions,” April
21 at 4:15 p.m. in the Law School’s Caplin Auditorium.
A reception will follow her talk, which is part of the Women’s
Center series, “Virginia 2020: Innovations in Public Service.”
graduating from Santa Clara University, where she won a prestigious
Truman scholarship, Napolitano attended the U.Va.
School of Law.
During that time, she
held a Dillard Fellowship, a student mentoring program that focuses on legal
research and writing, and was elected to the Raven Society, the University’s
honor society for academic achievement and service to U.Va.
in her legal career, she successfully argued before the Ninth
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
that churches should be protected from governmental
in the now-famous sanctuary case. She also served on the team that represented
Anita Hill in the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee
became the U.S. attorney for the district of Arizona in 1993,
and in 1998, was elected attorney general of
the state. As attorney general,
was a fierce protector of children and a tireless advocate for women,
senior citizens and the environment. She created the first Office
for Women as
part of the attorney general’s office, making issues affecting
women a top priority.
2002, Napolitano entered Arizona’s gubernatorial
race, campaigning on a plan to eliminate the state’s $1 billion
budget deficit, stimulate the economy and save Arizona’s deteriorating
public schools. She won the election with the support of a broad coalition
of voters, building a bipartisan base as
a Democrat in a strong Republican state.
addition to her public talk, Napolitano will meet with several
groups of undergraduates and
law students, and be honored at a gala dinner
for the Women’s Center.
Anne Bromley, (434) 924-6861 or Cescely Porter, (434) 982-2911