Ruth Bader Ginsburg


The late Supreme Court Associate Justice was the 41st recipient of the Elizabeth Blackwell Award.

During her confirmation hearings before the U.S. Senate in 1993, the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”

In honor of the transformative steps she took over the course of her remarkable life to affect such real, enduring change, Hobart and William Smith Colleges posthumously recognized Ginsburg with the Elizabeth Blackwell Award on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.

Presented on the 200th birthday of Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive the Doctor of Medicine degree, the award celebrates Ginsburg’s extraordinary achievements and public service, including authorship of landmark decisions impacting women’s rights and gender discrimination.

At the Cornell Club in New York City, Hobart and William Smith President Joyce P. Jacobsen and Board Chair Craig R. Stine ’81, P’17 presented the award in person to Ginsburg’s daughter, Jane C. Ginsburg, the Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law at Columbia Law School. Ginsburg’s son, James Steven Ginsburg, the founder and president of Cedille Records, joined remotely from Chicago.

Before reflecting on her mother’s work as an advocate, Jane Ginsburg noted: “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of tributes to our mother, and we have not been able to participate in the acceptance of all of them, but this one was very special…not only for the remarkable graduate that it commemorates, and for the extremely distinguished prior recipients...but also because of a very deep family connection to Hobart College [through] my mother’s beloved...cousin Richard Eugene Bader, Hobart Class of 1954.”

The reasoning and principles behind Justice Ginsburg’s decisions and dissents “inspired younger generations” and turned her “into the notorious icon she became in later years,” said her son James Ginsburg. “That in turn gave her a platform for sharing her message of shared responsibility between the sexes, so that no one has to be held back by the old stereotypes that she battled as an advocate.”



Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.