Retired Supreme Court justice David H. Souter will be the principal speaker at Harvard University's commencement this spring, the college said today.
Souter, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School, served on the high court from 1990 until June 2009. While a member of the court, he emerged as a crucial defender of abortion rights and the separation of church and state.
“During his years on the nation’s highest court, Justice Souter approached the vital work of judging with a deep sense of independence and fairness, a close attention to the facts of each case, and a clear concern for the effects of the court’s decisions on the lives of real people,” Harvard President Drew Faust said in a statement. “The dedication, humility, and commitment to learning with which he has pursued his calling should be an inspiration to any young man or woman contemplating a career in public service.”
Souter was born in Melrose but grew up in New Hampshire, and returned to the quiet community of Weare whenever the court was not in session. Last summer, he moved to Hopkinton, N.H., the Concord Monitor reported.
Souter will speak during afternoon commencement exercises on May 27 in the Tercentenary Theatre of Harvard Yard.
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