Courtesy of Robin Marchant/Getty Images via JTA. 

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, shown in January 2018, fulfilled a promise to a college friend in making her University of Buffalo appearance. 


(JTA) — Ruth Bader Ginsburg made her first public appearance since the U.S. Supreme Court justice announced that she finished a three-week treatment course for a malignant tumor found on her pancreas.

Ginsburg traveled to the University at Buffalo to receive an honorary degree from its law school.

She mentioned her health problems in passing, according to reports, telling the crowd that she promised her old friend from Cornell University, attorney Wayne Wisbaum, that she would visit Buffalo when he invited her last year. Wisbaum died in December.

“In July 2018, Wayne wrote to me that his health disabled him from playing a lead role in the arrangements for my visit here, but he still hoped to attend all the events. He asked me to confirm that I would come to Buffalo in August 2019 in any event,” Ginsburg said. “I did so immediately and I did not withdraw when my own health problems presented challenges.”

The 86-year-old justice also said in her address that it “was beyond my wildest expectation that I would one day become the Notorious RBG,” to applause and cheers.

On Aug. 23, the Supreme Court said in a statement that she underwent treatment for “a localized malignant tumor” on her pancreas.

Ginsburg had surgery last year to remove a cancerous growth from her left lung, her third bout with cancer.

She is one of three Jewish justices on the court and leads its liberal minority.

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