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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to speak at University of the Pacific

Jul 3, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will be the keynote speaker for the Oct. 23 Advancing Women's Leadership forum at University of the Pacific's Alex G. Spanos Center in Stockton. The doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the program begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. The event is open to the public. 

Also speaking will be Amy Purdy, a 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist and motivational speaker, and Connie Rishwain, president of UGG and a Pacific alumna.

Tickets for the event will be $15 and available for sale in late August. Special group arrangements will be available on a limited basis for high schools and other educational organizations that serve young adults. 

"This forum is intended to promote and showcase women leaders and to cultivate future leaders. We want to transform our community by inspiring and empowering youth and adults alike," said Kathleen Lagorio Janssen, chair of Pacific's Board of Regents and a member of the planning committee for Advancing Women's Leadership, a group of regional business, education and civic leaders dedicated to developing leadership in the community. 

"We are proud to be able to bring such exemplary leaders here to speak," said Kristen Birtwhistle, a regional director at The Permanente Medical Group and member of the Advancing Women's Leadership planning committee. "We know they will inspire leaders in every field to be the very best they can."

Justice Sotomayor

The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court since 2009, earned her bachelor's degree in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude. She earned her juris doctor degree in 1979 from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She was an assistant district attorney for the New York County District Attorney's Office for the next five years before joining the law firm of Pavia and Harcourt, where she litigated international commercial matters. She was an associate and then partner for the firm until 1992.

President George H.W. Bush in 1991 nominated her to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, where she served from 1992 to 1998. She served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998 to 2009, when President Barack Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court.

Amy Purdy

As cofounder of the nonprofit organization Adaptive Action Sports, Purdy has dedicated herself to creating opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities to get involved in skateboarding, snowboarding and other action sports. In addition to being a world-class snowboarder, she is an actress and model. Purdy lost both of her legs below the knee at age 19 following a near-fatal bacterial meningitis infection. 

Connie Rishwain

Rishwain, a Stockton native, catapulted the UGG shearling boot into a $1.5 billion global brand during her more than 20 years as division president. The UGG division is a part of the Deckers footwear and apparel company. In addition to her role as president of UGG since 2002, Rishwain has been president of Deckers' Lifestyle Brands division since 2014 and is a past president of the company's Simple division. Rishwain earned her bachelor's degree at Pacific in 1979 with a degree in history. She is a graduate of Stockton's Stagg High School.

About the Advancing Women's Leadership forum

The first Advancing Women's Leadership forum in March 2013 featured former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Sponsors for this year's forum include Golden Bear Insurance, Food 4 Less, A.G. Spanos Companies and the Cortopassi Family Foundation. 

More information is available at on Facebook at The hashtag for the event is #AWL2015.

About University of the Pacific

Established in 1851 as the first chartered institution of higher education in California, University of the Pacific prepares students for professional and personal success through rigorous academics, small classes, and a supportive and engaging culture. Widely recognized as one of the most beautiful private university campuses in the West, the Stockton campus offers more than 80 majors in seven schools. The university's distinctive Northern California footprint also includes a campus in San Francisco, home to the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and new graduate programs in health, food and technology fields, and in Sacramento, home to the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and new graduate programs in business, education, public policy, and health care. For more information, visit

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