September 25, 2006

Fisk president & former energy secretary to speak at Case

Hazel O'Leary to address country's need for leadership and service


The Honorable Hazel R. O'Leary, the 14th President of Fisk University and former U.S. Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton, will issue a call for leaders eager to serve their country when she gives the talk, DAMNED IF WE DON'T: America's Imminent Need for Leadership and Service. She will speak during Alumni Weekend at Case Western Reserve University on Friday, October 13. The free, public talk at 1 p.m. follows a reception at 12:30 p.m. at Amasa Stone Chapel, 10940 Euclid Avenue on the Case campus.

O'Leary is a woman who has blazed a trail in the areas of law, education, energy, environment, and business with her bold leadership and prudent risk-taking in the face of challenges and issues found in communities, corporate board rooms and the White House.

After 25 years of experience in the fields of law, energy and environmental policy development and implementation, O'Leary became the first African-American, and first woman, to become the Secretary of Department of Energy. She served during the first term of the Clinton Administration and had responsibilities of directing an agency with 120,000 people and a budget of nearly $21 billion. Among her accomplishments as a Cabinet Member, she structured the debate and analysis for the technical basis for President Clinton's stand on opposing nuclear testing that led to the 126-country agreement that extended the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996.

Her work has been recognized with such honors as "Person of the Week" by ABC News, the Averell Harriman Award and one of 100 "fearless" women in the United States by Mirabella magazine.

In 2004, she returned to her undergraduate alma mater to take the helm of Fisk University, a small liberal arts college that is known for the number of its graduates that go on to earn doctorate degrees. It has been ranked as among The Best 357 Colleges in the nation and one of the top 20 African-American colleges by The Black Enterprise Magazine.

After graduating cum laude from Fisk University where she joined Phi Beta Kappa, O'Leary went on to earn her Juris Doctorate degree from the Rutgers University School of Law in Newark.

Since 2003, Case and Fisk University have launched academic programs that allow graduate and undergraduate students to reap the benefits of the rich resources at each university. Through a Binary Program at the Case School of Engineering, students who complete the program earn dual bachelor degrees from both institutions. At the Case Weatherhead School of Management, students from Fisk can earn their undergraduate degree at their home school and during their junior year apply to Weatherhead's accountancy program to eventually earn a Master of Accountancy degree. Case's Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences in 2004 began to offer a similar opportunity for Fisk's fourth-year students interested in social where they could spend their senior year at Case working towards earning the Master of Science in Social Administration after completing MSASS' two-year graduate program.

For information about this program and other Alumni Weekend events at Case, visit

For more information: Susan Griffith 216-368-1004.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, September 25, 2006 09:31 AM | News Topics: Alumni, HeadlinesMain, Lectures/Speakers, Provost Initiatives

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.