Wednesday March 16th was quite an exciting day for high school senior Lauren Kang as she personally welcomed former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Marlborough School and introduced her to the student body in an all-school meeting. “She was very warm and personable and had a great sense of humor,” noted Kang who’s winning essay won the Guerin Visiting Scholars Program this year which brings nationally and internationally recognized leaders to Marlborough to share their experiences.
As only the second woman, and first African American woman, to hold the position of Secretary of State, Rice noted that she shared one thing in common with the youthful audience: an all-girls education. “At an all-girls school there is no such thing as gender definition, which made me believe there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do,” said Dr. Rice.
“Growing up, I always admired Dr. Rice as my mother told me how she was both Secretary of State as well as an accomplished pianist,” said Kang in an interview. “At that young age, I was not interested in politics, but was impressed by the fact that she was able to succeed in multiple fields, as I too had a variety of interests. In the past couple of years, however, I have developed a passion for public policy and international relations. I wanted to meet her not only to discuss her opinions and ideas about U.S. foreign policy, but also to gain wisdom about how to juggle multiple pursuits, succeed in the male-dominated world of politics, and overcome obstacles.”
In a small-group meeting with 10th grade students, there were many questions and an in-depth discussion about foreign policy. When she spoke to the entire student body, however, the conversation was targeted to offer a broader appeal for the younger 7th graders and included life lessons, finding one’s true passion, setting challenging goals, and seeking out mentors.
For Kang, the day was just about perfect. Besides having a special one-on-one chat with Rice at the beginning of the day, she got to end the 10 am- 1 pm visit with lunch with the her fellow Guerin finalists, school administrators and Dr. Rice. No doubt Dr. Rice also had a walk down memory lane taking part in the curriculum of an all-girls school again before she headed back to Stanford University where she is a professor of Political Economy in the Graduate School of Business.