October 11, 2000 Geneva, NY – Hobart and William Smith Colleges were proud to host Attorney General Janet Reno during The National Women's Hall of Fame 2000 Induction Ceremony and Honors Weekend held October 6 and 7 in Seneca Falls. Reno, the first woman to serve as Attorney General of the United States, was inducted into the National Hall along with18 other distinguished American women.
Hobart and William Smith President Mark D. Gearan attended the Friday night opening reception and candlelight procession on Reno's behalf, as an exhibit honoring Reno was placed in the National Women's Hall of Fame. Janet Reno was nominated as Attorney General by President Bill Clinton in 1993. At the time, Gearan was serving as Assistant to the President and White House Director of Communications.
During the luncheon and induction ceremony on Saturday, Gearan accompanied Reno along with more than 20 of the Colleges community members including William Smith seniors Jill Dugas of Glenmont, New York, and Lauren DeScherer of Tenafly, New Jersey, who works as an intern at the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Gearan said he was pleased to introduce Reno to the local community. “I have known Janet Reno for more than seven years and was honored to introduce her to students and colleagues. She is a remarkable person, attending Harvard Law School in the early 1960s as one of only 16 women in a class of more than 500 students, she had an incredible story to share,” Gearan said.
After graduating from Harvard, Reno had difficulty obtaining work as a lawyer because she was a woman. In 1971 Reno was named staff director of the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives. She helped revise the Florida court system. In 1973 she accepted a position with the Dade County State's Attorney's Office. She left the state's attorney's office in 1976 to become a partner in a private law firm. In 1978, Reno was appointed State Attorney General for Dade County. She was elected to the Office of State Attorney in November 1978 and was returned to office by the voters four more times. .
Mary Ann Oppenheimer, executive director, National Women's Hall of Fame thanked the Colleges for their support. “We were pleased to include Mark Gearan and all from Hobart and William Smith Colleges among the generous sponsors of our 2000 Honors Weekend. We appreciate their support.”