Condoleezza Rice To Serve As 2016 Commencement Speaker

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Commencement Update: ABC News will broadcast Condoleezza Rice’s speech on May 7. Watch at abcnews.com/live

HIGH POINT, N.C., August 18, 2015 – Condoleezza Rice, the 66th Secretary of State, will serve as the High Point University Commencement speaker on Saturday, May 7, 2016.

“Secretary Rice has served this country in measurable ways through her work in our nation’s capital, in free enterprise, in academia and in efforts to improve education for children,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “She embodies the American spirit and its core values, which we proudly celebrate on our campus.”

Rice will become part of an extraordinary lineup of HPU Commencement Speakers, including broadcast legend Tom Brokaw; Gen. Colin Powell, former secretary of state, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and national security advisor; former First Lady Laura Bush; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple; Rudy Giuliani, former New York City Mayor; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; NASA Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin; and Muhtar Kent, CEO of the Coca-Cola Company.

From January 2005-2009, Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State of the United States, the second woman and first African American woman to hold the post. Rice also served as President George W. Bush’s assistant to the President for national security affairs (National Security Advisor) from January 2001-2005, the first woman to hold the position.

As secretary of state, Rice championed the idea of “Transformational Diplomacy,” which expanded the number of diplomatic governments throughout the world. She also helped successfully negotiate several agreements in the Middle East. One of Rice’s most successful negotiations was the signing of the U.S.-India Agreement for Cooperation Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (123 Agreement), which would allow civil nuclear trade between the two countries. Rice has appeared four times on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. She currently serves as a professor at Stanford University, where she previously served as a provost from 1993 to 1999 and has been a member of the faculty since 1981.

Further Biographical Details:

Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver; her master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame; and her Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

In 1991, Rice cofounded the Center for a New Generation (CNG), an innovative, after-school academic enrichment program for students in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California. CNG later merged with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula (an affiliate club of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America). CNG has since expanded to local BGCA chapters in Birmingham, Atlanta and Dallas. She remains an active proponent of an extended learning day through after school programs.

Since 2009, Rice has served as a founding partner at RiceHadleyGates, LLC, an international strategic consulting firm based in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. The firm works with senior executives of major companies to implement strategic plans and expand in emerging markets. Other partners include former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.

Rice currently serves on the board of Dropbox, an online-storage technology company; C3, an energy software company; and Makena Capital, a private endowment firm. In addition, she is a member of the boards of the George W. Bush Institute, the Commonwealth Club, the Aspen Institute, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Previously, Rice served on various additional boards, including: KiOR, Inc.; the Chevron Corporation; the Charles Schwab Corporation; the Transamerica Corporation; the Hewlett-Packard Company; the University of Notre Dame; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors.

She has authored and coauthored numerous books, including two best sellers.

In 2013, Rice was appointed to the College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC), formerly the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).

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