By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Retired Georgia Chief Justice Sears speaks at SSU commencement
Leah Ward Sears

Speaking to the largest graduating class in Savannah State University history, Retired Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears of the Georgia Supreme Court is guest speaker at SSU's 182nd commencement ceremony at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 4, 2013, in T.A. Wright Stadium.

More than 350 students will receive undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony — the largest graduating class in SSU history.

Leah Ward Sears
  • Leah Ward Sears

The first African-American female chief justice of any state’s highest appellate court, Sears — a graduate of Savannah's Beach High School — is also the first woman and youngest person to serve as a judge of the Fulton County (Ga.) Superior Court.

By the appointment of former Gov. Zell Miller in 1992, she became the first woman and youngest person ever to sit on the Georgia Supreme Court. In retaining her Supreme Court post later that year, Sears also became the first woman in Georgia to win a contested statewide election.