Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told University of Mobile students that her Christian faith is inseparable from the decisions she makes and is the source of her optimism in the face of difficulties.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, with University of Mobile director of campus life Neal Ledbetter, fields students’ questions prior to her address at UM’s Leadership Banquet on Nov. 10.
Rice addressed 400-plus students in a question-and-answer session prior to being the featured speaker at the university’s 7th annual Leadership Banquet on Nov. 10, which supports the school’s scholarship fund.
Students used social media such as Twitter and Facebook to ask questions of Rice, a native of Birmingham, Ala., who became the first black woman to serve as secretary of state during President George W. Bush’s administration. Rice, now a political science professor at Stanford University, fielded questions ranging from her most embarrassing moments to the one word she would want to be remembered by — “perseverance.”
Responding to a question about how faith factored into her role as secretary of state, Rice said, “It’s not that you say, ‘Well, is this the right thing to do?’ It’s that you ask for guidance, are always aware that you have a higher power to which to appeal.”
Faith helps a person recognize how fortunate and blessed he or she is — and to care about people who are not as fortunate or blessed, said Rice, whose father and grandfather were ministers.
“The best part about being a person of faith is that I could be continually optimistic even in hard times,” Rice continued. “When you go through very difficult times, I don’t know how people who can’t appeal to that Holy Spirit get through those hard times. I know as (Abraham) Lincoln said, ‘There are times when you have times where you have nowhere else to go than your knees.’ That is very deeply engrained in me.”
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