MSU News Service

BOZEMAN – Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State who is also an educator, musician and author, will speak at Montana State University’s 2012 Freshman Convocation, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. Tickets will be available in August.

In connection with her appearance at MSU, Rice’s memoir, Extraordinary, Ordinary People, has been selected as MSU’s 2012 freshman summer reading book.
Rice’s memoir is about growing up in the segregated South as well as the influence, support and guidance she received from her parents and mentors.

According to MSU Provost Martha Potvin, Rice’s memoir is a testimony of the power of education advancing one’s life, as well as a first-hand account of a transformational period in America’s history.

“We are thrilled to have a distinguished speaker whose life… exemplifies the value of family support, education, and personal courage in cultivating a purposeful and accomplished life,” Potvin said.

In addition to addressing MSU’s incoming freshman class, Rice will also perform on the piano. An accomplished pianist, Rice has previously visited Bozeman, playing with the visiting Muir String Quartet and with Ilse-Mari Lee, a cellist who is also director of MSU’s University Honors Program.

Rice served as the 66th U.S. Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009. She is currently a professor of political economy and science in the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She is also the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, based at Stanford. She recently published a second memoir, No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington, about her years as Secretary of State. An expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union, Rice has written four other books about diplomacy.

Rice recommends the following motivational books:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand.
Night, by Elie Wiesel
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, by Walter Isaacson.
Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.
Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-53, by Taylor Branch

The Bozeman Public Library has chosen Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings for its One Book – One Bozeman 2012 selection, while also encouraging the community to read Rice’s Extraordinary, Ordinary People.

“The One Book partnership with MSU’s Summer Reading program has been such a powerful connection for the campus and Bozeman community,” said Paula Beswick, director for the Bozeman Public Library Foundation and coordinator of One Book-One Bozeman activities. “This year we wanted to benefit from not only Dr. Rice’s remarkable memoir, but also a book that she has said inspired her life.”

“Our goal is to enrich the discussion, especially with the popularity of Dr. Angelou’s recent visit to Bozeman. We are very excited to promote and embrace the talents of these two immensely influential women.”

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