Wednesday, March 21, 2012

15 Things You Didn’t Know about Condoleezza Rice

You probably know Condoleezza Rice as the first female African-American US Secretary of State succeeding Colin Powell in the position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford and later Provost of the university. She joins the faculty of The 2012 Global Leadership Summit.

You may know Rice’s professional accomplishments, but did you know:
    1. Her name comes from the Italian word con dolcezza, an Italian musical term meaning “play with sweetness.”
    2. Rice grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, “the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.). At the age of eight, one of the girls in her school was killed when white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. (September 15, 1963)
    3. She was the only child of a school teacher and Presbyterian minister who couldn’t eat at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s because of segregation laws, but they believed their daughter could be President.
    4. She skipped first and seventh grades and graduated at the age of 15.
    5. Her grandfather was a sharecropper who went to college and paid his tuition with cotton.
    6. She changed her major to political science after hearing a lecture about Joseph Stalin taught by Madeleine Albright’s father. (Albright was Secretary of State 1997-2001).
    7. When Rice became Provost at Stanford, the school’s budget was $20 million over budget. Within two years, the deficit was wiped out and the university’s coffers were nearly $15 million in the black.
    8. Her father coached football and hoped his unborn child would become an all-American linebacker. When he had a daughter, he taught her all about football. She compares football to warfare because both involve the use of strategy and the goal of taking territory.
    9. The best way to win her heart is to spend Sunday afternoons watching football.
    10. After serving on the Board at Chevron, the corporation honored her by naming a 129,000-ton tanker SS Condoleezza Rice. (It was renamed Altair Voyager.)
    11. One of her prize possessions is a first edition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace—written in Russian. (She has read it twice.)
    12. A concert pianist, Rice has played for Queen Elizabeth and has performed with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Aretha Franklin.
    13. Her favorite composer is Brahms and her favorite band is Led Zeppelin.
    14. Her dream job? President of the NFL
    15. Rice attends Menlo Park Presbyterian Church where John Ortberg is senior pastor.

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