Surrounded by family members, friends and colleagues, Professor Mary Ann Glendon was sworn in as the new U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See today in a brief ceremony held in the Caspersen Room of Harvard Law School’s Langdell Hall. The Honorable Michael Boudin ’64, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, administered the oath of office. Many of Glendon’s colleagues on the HLS faculty were on hand, including Dean Elena Kagan ’86, who offered a toast after the swearing-in. Kagan said that Glendon will be “the consummate public servant” and added: “I know that you will do your country proud, that you will do Harvard Law School proud, and that you will be the most extraordinary ambassador to the Holy See that the United States has ever had.” Glendon thanked Kagan for her support and encouragement, and added that she was proud to be part of the strong tradition of public service among members of the Harvard Law School faculty. “One of the many things that makes Harvard Law School such a vibrant and exciting place to be is the long tradition of welding scholarship and academic life to practical experience and public service,” said Glendon. “I’m so pleased that I can participate in that tradition. I think all of us here believe that scholarship — academic work — is nourished best when it is kept in close relation to public service and to practice. And I think we all believe that public service is at its best when it’s rooted in vigorous intellectual life.” President Bush announced Glendon’s nomination on November 5, 2007, and the Senate confirmed it in December. Glendon has held top posts in the Vatican since 1994, when she was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope John Paul II to promote the study of the social sciences. In 2004, she was named as president of the Academy. She also headed the 22-member delegation of the Holy See to the international 1995 Beijing Conference on Women sponsored by the United Nations.
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