(PHOENIX, Ariz., Sept. 19, 2005) â€“ Phoenix College students witnessed a historical event with the swearing in of Justice W. Scott Bales on Friday, Sept. 16 at Phoenix College’s Bulpitt Auditorium. Some members of the Phoenix College community attended the invitation-only event while others viewed the proceedings in the Cafeteria during a live broadcast.
Local and national political figures attended the ceremony. Phoenix College was a host to Arizona State Governor Janet Napolitano, United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Arizona Supreme Court Justices.
Before the ceremony, four students joined Phoenix College Acting President, Dr. Anna Solley for a brief discussion and photo opportunity with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who swore in Justice Bales.
“The experience of meeting Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Justice Scott Bales, as well as being a representative of Phoenix College and its AWARE club has been a real honor,” said Phoenix College student, Amy Shaw. “I will always remember the experience I was given.”
Student Trudie Jackson echoed Amy’s comments.
“This experience will be a memorable one, which I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Jackson added. “This is something I can take back to my Native American community.”
Two Phoenix College student ambassadors, Rigoberto Palapox and Juan “Johnny” Mendez were quite honored for the opportunity to meet such influential people.
“It was an awesome experience to meet such influential people who are leading our country and state,” said Palapox. “We only see them on T.V. and in the newspaper. I am truly thankful for such a tremendous opportunity.”
“I have such high regards and aspirations for all the dignitaries I met that day,” said Mendez. “To see how they interacted with us in such a friendly manner will certainly be remembered.”
“We were truly honored to host the Arizona Supreme Court Investiture Ceremony of Justice W. Scott Bales,” said Phoenix College Acting President, Dr. Anna Solley. “We are a stellar institution that thrives on providing students with real life educational experiences. This event gave students an opportunity to witness a historical event through a live broadcast. Furthermore, it gave Phoenix College students a chance to build on the lessons they have learned in the classroom.”
Representatives from the Arizona Supreme Court were grateful to have the opportunity to partner with the oldest Arizona community college for this historical event.
“As the first community college and with 85 years of history and of serving the local community, Phoenix College was a perfect location for the Arizona Supreme Court to hold Justice Bales’ ceremony,” said Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor. “It is important for the court to conduct such events where American democracy is taught.”
About Trudie Jackson: Trudie is a Navajo and has spoken at conferences around the country on HIV/AIDS prevention and on her experiences being a Native American transgender. She is a student at Phoenix College and a Prevention Services Specialist with the Native American Pathways (NAP) Prevention Project in Phoenix, Arizona. NAP programs provide HIV counseling and testing and targets HIV prevention education and outreach to the Native American gay and transgender community.