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Speakers Announced

Speakers AnnouncedMargaretH. Marshall –first woman to lead state’s highest court– to be joined bydrug company CEO, Dance Theater of Harlem founder and Nobel Prizewinning scientist.Medford/Somerville,Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [03.26.03]  

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall will deliver the annual commencement address at Tufts, University officials today announced. A native of South Africa, Marshall is the first woman to lead the 311-year-old court, the oldest court in the Western Hemisphere.

› Read more about the May 18, 2003 Commencement [ here ].

"As an activist in South Africa and now as the state's chief justice, Margaret H. Marshall has dedicated her life to protecting freedom and justice," Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow said. "Chief Justice Marshall embodies the value of public service that we encourage and cultivate in all of our students at Tufts. Her tireless life's work in support of social justice should serve as inspiration to us all."

As Chief Justice, Marshall has led an ambitious initiative to reform the Commonwealth's court system. She also has demonstrated a strong commitment to higher education throughout her career, which has included service as Vice President and General Counsel at Harvard University.

Marshall graduated from Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg in 1966. That year, she was elected president of the National Union of South African Students. In this capacity, she became a leader in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. She came to the United States in 1968 to pursue her graduate studies.

First appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in November 1996, Marshall was named as Chief Justice in September 1999 by Governor Cellucci, and began her term on Oct. 14, 1999, following her confirmation by the Governor's Council. Chief Justice Marshall is the second woman to serve on the Supreme Judicial Court in its history, and the first woman to serve as Chief Justice.

During Tufts' 147th commencement exercises, Marshall will be awarded an honorary degree and will be joined by additional honorary degree recipients Arthur Mitchell, founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Nobel prize-winning environmental scientist Mario Molina, and Agnes Varis, founder and CEO of the New Jersey-based pharmaceuticals company Agvar Chemicals Inc.

Following the University's main commencement ceremonies, Mohammed ElBaradei - director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency - will deliver an address at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

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