Legacy Luncheon

Honoring the Life and Work of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, 

the First Woman Appointed to the United States Supreme Court

2019 Featured Speaker



Second Lady of the United States


Dr. Jill Biden will be the featured speaker at 2019 Legacy Luncheon, Friday, May 10, 2019.  

Dr. Biden will discuss her new book Where The Light Enters, Building A Family, Discovering Myself.   

As Second Lady, Dr. Biden worked to bring attention to the sacrifices made by military families, to highlight the importance of community colleges to America’s future, and to raise awareness around areas of particular importance to women, including breast cancer prevention, all while continuing to teach as a full-time English professor at a community college in Northern Virginia.

Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself is a deeply personal exploration of the love that defines family in its many forms. It is a brave and vulnerable glimpse into the creation of a beloved American family, and the life of the woman at its center. An intimate look at the traditions, resilience, and love that built the Biden family, and the delicate balancing act of the woman at its center.

Growing up, Jill Biden wanted two things: a marriage like her parents’ and a career. But her journey to fulfill those wishes would take unexpected turns, and her definition of family would be challenged again and again. After an early heartbreak, Jill was unsure what the future would hold. Then she met Joe Biden, Delaware’s junior senator, who was grieving the loss of his wife and daughter while raising his two young sons. As they fell in love, Jill faced difficult questions: was she willing to commit to marriage? How would politics shape her family life―and her career? And could she become a mother to these boys?

This is the story of how Jill built a family of her own: from seeking small moments of joy, to balancing the family’s needs with her personal and professional goals, to forming traditions that helped carry them through tragedy―all with the support of an extended family circle.

That circle would morph over the years, but the one constant was love. And whether finding her own voice as Second Lady or changing lives as a teacher, whether nurturing the Biden clan or surviving devastating loss, Jill discovered her own strength and came to understand what it truly means to make a family.


The 2019 Legacy Luncheon will pay tribute to Sandra Day O'Connor, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who served from her appointment 1981 until her retirement in 2006. She was the first woman to serve on the Court.



Sandra Day O'Connor Institute


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court in 1981, founded the O’Connor Institute in 2009 following her retirement. The non-partisan nonprofit organization continues Justice O’Connor’s distinguished legacy and lifetime work to advance civics education, civic engagement and civil discourse.

Find out more

O'Connor Institute Ladies of the Court


The Ladies of the Court are the Women's Auxiliary Board of the     Sandra Day O'Connor Institute. 

These dedicated members of the community support the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute throughout the year  and honor Justice O'Connor each year through the Legacy Luncheon. 

Find out more

More Information

2018 Legacy Luncheon


Mrs. Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the United States, was the featured speaker at the inaugural Legacy Luncheon, Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Mrs. Bush reflected on her life and discussed her memoir, # 1 New York Times best seller, Spoken from the Heart


The annual Legacy Luncheon honors the life and work of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court. 

The luncheon benefited two charitable organizations, the Sandra Day O'Connor Institute and Hospice of the Valley.  Co-Chairs for the 2018 Legacy Luncheon were Gena Bonsall and Penny Gunning.  Lin Sue Cooney, former NBC  12 News anchor, served as mistress of ceremonies and moderated a conversation with Mrs. Bush following her remarks. 

Like Sandra Day O’Connor, who was raised in Arizona on her family’s Lazy B Ranch, Mrs. Bush stated in her book, “I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew a free breath.”  In her memoir, she also describes life as First Lady and the post-9/11 White House, when anthrax attacks cut off the mail and she was no longer permitted to take strolls outside the gates.  Polled by The Gallup Organization as one of the most popular First Ladies, Mrs. Bush, with a master’s degree in library science and a former librarian, helped advance national and global concerns during her tenure, including encouraging education and literacy worldwide.