66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced as Southern Utah University’s 2020 commencement speaker

Composite image | Photos courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — SUU President Scott L. Wyatt has announced Secretary Condoleezza Rice, the 66th secretary of state, will serve as Southern Utah University’s 2020 commencement speaker.

The annual graduation ceremony will take place April 24.

“We are honored that Secretary Rice has accepted our invitation to speak at Southern Utah University’s 2020 commencement ceremony,” Wyatt said in a press release. “Secretary Rice’s place in history is well established. She’s spent her entire career breaking down barriers, reaching the highest points in both higher education and in government, and living a life well-lived.”

In appreciation of Rice’s contributions to the U.S., SUU will also award her with an honorary doctorate.

From 2005 to 2009, Rice served as U.S. 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.

66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St. George News/Cedar City News

Prior to her position in the United States government, Rice had a distinguished career in higher education, serving as Stanford University’s Provost from 1993 to 1999. Rice has served as a faculty member at Stanford since 1981. Currently, she is the Denning Professor in Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford 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.

Rice will be introduced by former Utah Governor Mike Leavitt. Rice and Leavitt served together as members of President George W. Bush’s Cabinet.

“Condoleezza Rice is the personification of the American dream,” former Governor Leavitt said in the release. “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.”

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 19 graduate programs across six academic colleges, SUU proudly offers world-class, project-based learning opportunities where students gain professional experience.

More details about the 2020 commencement ceremony will be released at a later date.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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