Alito to tell of Washington experiences

By Nicole Schladt

Four years ago, Martha-Ann Alito was introduced to the national political scene when her husband, Justice Samuel Alito, was appointed to the US Supreme Court. But nearly 34 years ago, she was completing her masters in library science at UK.

Saturday, Martha-Ann Alito will return to her alma mater to give a lecture, titled “One Letter Home,” about her experiences in Washington. The lecture is part of a collaborative lecture series that the Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass and the UK College of Law are hosting.

Constance Collis, Hellenic Ideals Program board member, said students are welcome to attend the [organization’s] lecture every year.

“It’s an insightful time to come and hear from people who are significant to our lives here in the United States,” Collis said.

The Hellenic Ideals Program of the Bluegrass was founded in 1980 “to remember, honor and perpetuate ancient Hellenic principles, while encouraging such standards in our changing, modern civilization,” according to the program’s website.

The program holds an annual lecture to promote citizenship based on Greek ideals and honors one Bluegrass resident who exemplifies these ideals within the community each year. Deputy Chief Justice Mary Noble of the Kentucky Supreme Court is the 2010 honoree, and Noble chose Alito to deliver the annual lecture.

Noble said she chose Alito because of her ties to the university and her unique perspective on the justice system.

“We invite judges to speak all the time about difficult court cases they encounter,” Noble said. “I thought it would be more interesting if we invited a Kentuckian to come home and speak about what she encounters as the wife of a Supreme Court justice living in the ‘fishbowl’ that is Washington, D.C.”

Alito’s lecture will discuss her childhood with an Air Force father and her professional career, and her family’s transition to life in the nation’s capitol after her husband was appointed to the US Supreme Court. Justice Alito will be attending the lecture.

This is the first time that the UK College of Law has been involved with the annual lecture hosted by HIP. The College of Law helped co-host a reception for Alito on Friday and has helped publicize the lecture on campus.

Amanda DeBord, staff support associate with the UK College of Law, said all are encouraged to attend.

“The lecture will provide an interesting look into the personal lives of people intimately involved with our nation’s highest court,” she said.