Home Education Condoleezza Rice: Ukraine’s “tough defense” testifies to “blessing of freedom”

Condoleezza Rice: Ukraine’s “tough defense” testifies to “blessing of freedom”

Condoleezza Rice: Ukraine's

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told members University of Southern Utah‘s Class of 2022, that if they are to question the freedom of Americans, they must find inspiration in the “tough defense of their rights” by the Ukrainian people in their constant struggle against Russian invaders.

“If at any moment you find yourself sour for a moment from the power and blessings of the rights we enjoy, the right to say what we think, to worship as we please, to be free from the knocking of secret police at night, and the arbitrary power of the state, and to have the right to choose those who will rule us, just watch the news these days just for a moment and find inspiration in people who are willing to die for the rights we have, ”Rice said, speaking at the university’s 123rd annual opening ceremony. Friday.

It demonstrates, “that there is nothing like the blessing of freedom. Look at their example as a testament to freedom and its power, ”said Rice, who is considered an expert on the Soviet Union.

Even in troubled times, Rice urged 2,309 SUU graduates to believe that the future would be better than the present.

“Idealists, not cynics, are those who imagined the world not as it is, but as it should be, and then working to make it so. Never forget the sacrifices of those who are willing to give everything for the protection of freedom. Accept institutions that protect freedom, respect them and use them for peaceful change, ”Rice said.

Rice served as the 66th Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and was the second woman and the first black woman to hold the post.

A professor of political science, Rice has worked at Stanford University since 1981 and served as vice rector from 1993 to 1999.

From 1989 to 1991, Rice served at the headquarters of President George W. Bush’s National Security Council. In 1986, as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Rice also held the position of Special Assistant Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Someday members of SUU graduates may also have opportunities for public service, she said during a speech at the SUU America First Event Center in Cedar City.

“You may even find yourself in a situation you could never have imagined,” Rice said, reflecting on the White House ceremony when she was sworn in as secretary of state.

“When I was standing in Ben Franklin’s room in 2005, taking the oath as Secretary of State, swearing in the Constitution, which once considered my ancestors as three-fifths men, swore an Jew, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginzburg, I thought to myself,“ What would thought old Ben about that? ”

“Well, he would never have imagined it, of course, and honestly, I, too, as a little girl, grew up in secluded Birmingham, Alabama. I’d tell you I don’t think Ruth would have imagined that either, since she was just trying to get her voice heard in law school. In this way, you have incredible opportunities in the civil service. “

Rice told the graduates to be attentive to those who did not have the privilege of attending college.

“Remember that there are those who were just as capable, just as smart, who didn’t have that chance. For what reason. they just didn’t succeed. So it’s time to celebrate achievements, but it’s time to set aside any sense of right. For those of us who have enough privileges to have it, we should make good use of it and share it whenever we can, ”she said.

It is the duty of an educated person, she said.

“I want to encourage you to be active in the world around you, drawing on your education to make this world a better place. There is no better opposition to the law than to cooperate with those who have less than you, who for some reason live a restless and difficult life, ”she said.

Rice said the story of her family’s higher education dates back to her grandparents from Utah, Alabama (pronounced Utah). “I’m not kidding,” Rice said.

Her grandfather, John Wesley Rice Sr., died two months before her birth, “but for some reason I feel like he was always there during my travels. You know, he was an educated man who persevered and did his best to get one thing that no one would ever take away from him. “

His first term at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he paid for cotton.

“After the first year of school he was told, ‘So how are you going to pay for the second year?’ And he said, “Well, I’m made of cotton.” They said, “Well, then you were out of luck.”

But the quick-witted young man wondered how his college classmates could afford it.

“They said, ‘Well, they have what’s called a scholarship, and if you want to be a Presbyterian minister, you can also get a scholarship.’ My grandfather did not miss. He said, “You know, that’s exactly what I meant.”

“Since then, my family has received a higher education and received a presbytery,” Rice said.

On Friday, Rice added another doctorate – albeit an honorary one – to her resume.

She and Eric O. Levitt, CEO and CEO of Leavitt Group, the country’s largest family-controlled insurance broker, and former chairman of SUU’s Board of Trustees, were awarded the university honorary doctorates.

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