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Justice Sandra Day O'Connor receives Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award

March 13, 2010

WASHINGTON – Sandra Day O'Connor, former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, personally accepted the Inaugural Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award at the 12th Annual United States Senate Youth Alumni Association (USSYAA) Reception and Dinner on Friday, March 5th.

"Justice O'Connor's unparalleled career in state, federal and international public service makes her most deserving of the Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award," said Chief Judge Robert H. Henry of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who, along with U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME), introduced Ms. O'Connor at the dinner. Both Collins and Henry are alumni of the United States Senate Youth Program class of 1971.

"Justice O'Connor represents an independence of thought and a devotion to the principles of law that speaks to the best elements of public service. Her selection to the Supreme Court inspired millions of Americans, including the many alumni of the United States Senate Youth Program. We are deeply honored and proud that Justice O'Connor accepted our inaugural Distinguished Public Service Award," said outgoing USSYAA President Norman Fortenberry, USSYP Alumnus, Class of 1979.

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) offers an intensive, seven-day educational experience in Washington and scholarships to high school students interested in pursuing careers in public service. Each year, two outstanding students are selected from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Educational Activity. USSYP was authorized by the U.S. Senate and has been administered and funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundations for the past 48 years.

The Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award is named for the late Rosalie Wynn Hearst, who became a second mother to 3,848 high school juniors and seniors participating as Delegates in the USSYP for almost 40 years. USSYAA was formed in 1999 to continue "Mom" Hearst's personal involvement with Delegates. It is dedicated to building and maintaining avenues of communication among alumni, providing financial assistance for the professional educational needs of alumni, and supporting the USSYP.

The 2010 class of the United States Senate Youth Program arrived Saturday, March 6 in Washington. President David Zavadsky (USSYP Alumnus, Class of 1990) and dozens of alumni greeted the 104 incoming Delegates personally, extending the hospitality and affection of "Mom Hearst." The 2010 Delegates will be honored this week for their commitment to public service by being granted an audience with America's most prominent public figures, including President Barack Obama and Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

For more information about the United States Senate Youth Program, please visit www.ussenateyouth.org.

For more information about the USSYAA, please visit www.ussyaa.org.

U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins and Chief Judge Robert H. Henry present the Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award to the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor. Photo by Don Tanguilig.
Pictured: U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins and Chief Judge Robert H. Henry present the Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award to the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor. Photo by Don Tanguilig.