66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be SUU’s 2022 Commencement Speaker

Published: March 03, 2022 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Portrait of Condoleezza RiceAs Southern Utah University celebrates the 125th anniversary of its founding, SUU Interim President Mindy Benson announced today that Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the 66th United States Secretary of State, will serve as the university’s 2022 commencement speaker.

The graduation ceremony will take place April 29 at 9 a.m. at the America First Event Center on the campus of SUU.

“We are honored to have such a distinguished leader as our 2022 commencement speaker,” said President Mindy Benson. “Secretary Rice has spent her entire career breaking down barriers and reaching the highest level of success in both higher education and in service to our nation. As our 2022 graduates prepare for the next phase of their lives, I know Secretary Rice’s comments will serve as a true inspiration to them.”

Secretary Rice had originally been scheduled to be the 2020 commencement speaker but the impact of COVID-19 forced postponement of the graduation ceremony.

In appreciation of Rice’s significant contributions to our country, SUU will award her an honorary doctorate.

From 2005 to 2009, Rice served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, the first African-American woman to serve in that position. She also served as President George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor, the first woman to hold that position. From 1989 to 1991, Rice served on President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council staff.

Prior to her position in the United States government, Secretary Rice had a distinguished career in higher education, serving as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993 to 1999. Secretary Rice has served as a faculty member at Stanford since 1981. Currently, she is the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy. In addition, she is a founding partner of Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel LLC, an international strategic consulting firm.

Former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, who served with Secretary Rice on the Cabinet of President George W. Bush said, “Condoleezza Rice is the personification of the American dream. Rising from the segregated South, she relied on her drive, intelligence, and the benefits of higher education to reach heights few have accomplished. I’m proud that she’s speaking at my alma mater, Southern Utah University.”

Secretary Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Denver, her master’s from the University of Notre Dame and her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver.

Founded in 1897, Southern Utah University is a caring campus community that allows students to explore their interests while preparing for meaningful careers. With more than 140 undergraduate and 21 graduate programs across seven academic colleges, SUU proudly offers world-class, project-based learning opportunities where students gain professional experience.

For additional details about the 2022 commencement ceremony, visit the graduation website.

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