Distinguished Speakers Series

Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

Former President of South Africa


President de Klerk shared the 1993 Nobel Prize with Nelson Mandela for his role in the ending of apartheid. As president of South Africa, President de Klerk brought apartheid to an end and opened the way for the drafting of a new constitution for the country based on the principle of one person, one vote.

Monday, September 26

Luncheon and Program: Noon to 1:30 PM

Omni Montelucia Resort | Paradise Valley

Join the O'Connor Institute Patrons Circle

with VIP benefits, Click Here

For Indiviudal Seating, Click Here

To purchase of Table of 10, Click Here

Presented In Collaboration With


Distinguished Speakers Series

Author Chris Matthews
Delights Audience With Inspiring Stories

Chris Matthews, author and host of MSNBC's Hardball spoke recently at the O'Connor Institute Distinguished Speakers Series luncheon on the topic of his bestselling book., TIP AND THE GIPPER: When Politics Worked. Mr. Matthews, former Chief of Staff for former House Speaker

Tip O'Neill, fascinated the audience with remarkable "behind the scenes" stories from the Reagan era.

Humorous and poignant anecdotes were followed by an insightful Q&A session with O'Connor Institute Board Chairman Peter M. Hayes, who ironically was a Senior Advisor to House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes during the same period, and who worked with Mr. Matthews on Capitol Hill. Captivated guests were happy to receive a copy of the book to take home.



Friday, October 14 | Arizona Biltmore




Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and Presidential Historian

Dinner Co-Chairs:

Penny & Larry Gunning | Ina & Murray Manaster

Arizona Biltmore | 6 PM | Cocktail Attire

Information and Registration: Click Here

For additional information on any event shown:

602-730-3300 or info@oconnorinstitute.org



Sandra Day O'Connor Institute

Announces Future Home At 

Arizona Center For Law and Society


The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute has announced that it will be relocating to the new Arizona Center for Law and Society this summer. The O’Connor Institute will be joining the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in this state-of-the-art building located at Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

Arizona Center for Law and Society at ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus

The 280,000 square foot building now in final stages of construction will feature a public law library and civic outreach center. It will also house the ASU Alumni Law Group, the nation’s first not-for-profit, privately financed teaching law firm, which employs recent ASU Law graduates to represent everyday Arizonans.

The Great Hall, Arizona Center for Law and Society

Click here to read the full news release.



Distinguished Speakers Series

Dinner With Churchill

A Supreme Success

An elegant crowd assembled at the Camelback Inn where the East Room of the White House was re-created. Guests dined on the same menu served to Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt on December 25, 1941.

Churchill scholar Cita Stelzer, author of "Dinner With Churchill" offered a historical perspective then joined Senator Jon Kyl for a "fireside chat" as everyone enjoyed a traditional British favorite, Plum Pudding.

The evening was a resounding success as news of the collaboration between Arizona State University, the Arizona Center for Law and Society and The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law was announced.



Distinguished Speakers Series

Smithsonian Institution

Luncheon Inspires Audience

A sold out audience was captivated by Smithsonian Institution Provost Dr. Richard Kurin at our recent Distinguished Speakers Series luncheon. Dr. Kurin started his career at the Smithsonian in 1976 and shared his remarkable wealth of information including over 100 images of curated items. Guests were educated and delighted with the presentation. Dr. Kurin embodies the mission of the Smithsonian, "the increase and diffusion of knowledge" and the O'Connor Institute was honored to welcome him to Arizona.




Sandra Day O'Connor Scholarship Established


The O'Connor Institute Board of Directors has created the Sandra Day O'Connor Scholarship to benefit students at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.


"I am very proud to have a scholarship named for me at the law school that bears my name to help a number of gifted students in the years ahead," stated Justice O'Connor.


The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute extends its appreciation to the following individuals and organizations who generously provided the seed funding:


 - AVON Foundation for Women
 - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
 - Rich and Maryglenn Boals
 - Nikal and Robert Conti
 - F. Francis and Dionne Najafi
 - Frederick Pakis | Pakis Family Foundation
 - Kari & Paul Yatkowski | Haven Charitable Foundation
 - In Memory of Mary and Gordon Zeider


To make a contribution to the Sandra Day O'Connor Scholarship,

please click here.



SAFE Action Project: 2016 and Beyond

The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute established the SAFE (Safeguarding Adolescents From Exploitation) Action Project to help combat child sex trafficking in 2013. As part of its efforts, the Institute develops programs to fill a void within important areas of society.

Since 2013, the O’Connor Institute has worked to create and evolve a robust program. In working with collaborative partners, including leaders of the lodging industry and others, the SAFE Action Project became firmly established.

Effective January 1, 2016, the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute is pleased to announce that the SAFE Action Project will enter a new phase of growth under the direction of the Sojourner Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

With this transition, the SAFE Action Project will be under the guidance of a full service human and social services agency that will allow it to expand to new levels in combating human trafficking. We commend Sojourner Center for providing a continuum of multicultural services to individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and human trafficking, while collaborating with the global community on education, research and advocacy in this effort.

For more information on the SAFE Action Project please visit www.SafeActionProject.org



Oral History Project:

Call For Memories

Do you have a memory, interesting anecdote or item that could be included in the Sandra Day O'Connor Oral History Project? Did your personal or professional path cross that of Justice O’Connor?  Every memory is welcome and individuals are invited to contact the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute with their stories or information via email here.


Sandra Day O’Connor Institute seeking additional funding necessary for the Oral History Project. To donate please click HERE or to receive more information.


What began as a project to move a house, has become an effort to move a state and the nation
In 2006, the historic adobe home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was slated for demolition. When a few community leaders met to plan its relocation, they didn't realize that the historic O'Connor family home would become the catalyst for the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute and create a movement to rebuild the way Arizona and the nation solves its pressing political, economic and social issues.
Read More >



"Society, at all levels, has a need to work together to solve the many challenges facing our state and nation.

I know that it is possible for people to sit down together and engage in cooperative problem solving.

My hope is to re-create a place that will be a center for problem-solving and for bringing together groups with divergent views.

This is what I want the O'Connor Institute to stand for. We can do it. The possibilities are endless."

~ Sandra Day O'Connor,

Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, (Retired)


The Sandra Day O'Connor Institute continues the legacy and lifetime work of Sandra Day O'Connor to advance civil discussion and civic action. We work to build consensus and help craft solutions to vital public issues, in an environment of mutual respect and shared purpose for a better state and nation.