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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was installed Friday in the honorary post of chancellor at the College of William and Mary and urged students there to become “bridge builders.” “Our nation needs you,” she told the students. O’Connor, 76, who retired from the high court in late January, stressed the importance of civic education and public service. She also noted that most of the college’s previous chancellors were Anglican bishops. “It takes more than a stretch of our imaginations to imagine that the nation’s second-oldest institution of higher learning, here in the great state of Virginia, has decided to accept as its chancellor a cowgirl from Arizona,” said O’Connor, who grew up on a cattle ranch. The College of William and Mary’s chancellor serves as an adviser and advocate for the school and meets occasionally with students and faculty. O’Connor, who became the first woman to serve on the high court when she was nominated in 1981, succeeds former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger as chancellor. He was appointed to the honorary post in 2000 to replace former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. O’Connor is the second Supreme Court justice to hold the post. Late Chief Justice Warren Burger was chancellor from 1986 to 1993. Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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