Condoleeza Rice at Marlborough School

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I was so honored to be invited by my good friends Fabienne and Rick Guerin to attend an address for the Marlborough student body by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Her inspirational words were “follow your passion, try something that isn’t easy for you, and find a mentor.” 

It was fascinating to me that she started life out with a passion for the piano with dreams of playing Carnegie Hall. When she was introduced to Russian politics however, she swiftly changed career paths yet continues to play with the same passion.  Two very interesting and diverse worlds!  It was a special pleasure to have lunch with her afterwards and to see her take special interest in the students who were present.

Dr. Condoleezza Rice Visits Marlborough School (link)

On Wednesday, March 14, Marlborough welcomed former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to campus. Dr. Rice was nominated by students as part of the School’s Guerin Visiting Scholars Program, which brings nationally and internationally recognized leaders to speak with the School’s 530-member student body. In addition to her All-School presentation on the topics of finding one’s true passion, setting challenging goals, and seeking out mentors, Dr. Rice met with smaller groups of students, addressing subjects such as the events and aftermath of September 11, 2001, the global impact of women’s rights issues, and defining experiences in her childhood, including attending an all-girls school.

“At an all-girls school there is no such thing as gender definition, which made me believe there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do,” said Dr. Rice.

In addition to serving as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States (the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post), Dr. Rice also served as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005, the first woman to hold the position. She is currently a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business; the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution; and a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

“Central to Marlborough’s mission is our goal of inspiring, supporting, and preparing students to become engaged, contributing citizens in their local communities and the world,” said Barbara Wagner, Head of School at Marlborough. “I am confident that Dr. Rice’s visit will continue to spark thought-provoking conversations amongst our students and inspire them to think about their own future opportunities for leadership and influence.”