Published: April 12, 2004

Condoleezza Rice to address MSU undergraduates at May 7 convocation

Contact: Colby Cooper, director for communications and media relations, National Security Council, (202) 456-9271; Terry Denbow, vice president for University Relations, (517) 355-2262 or (517) 927-5821; or Kristin K. Anderson, MSU University Relations, (517) 353-8819 or


See the commencement Web site for more information,

EAST LANSING. Mich. – Condoleezza RiceNational Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will address Michigan State University undergraduates at spring commencement convocation ceremonies Friday, May 7.

Rice, who became the assistant to the president for national security affairs Jan. 22, 2001, will address approximately 8,000 spring and summer undergraduate candidates for degrees at 1 p.m. at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. She will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.

“MSU looks forward to having Dr. Rice come to MSU and sharing ideas and experiences with future leaders of the 21st century,” said MSU President Peter McPherson. “We are pleased that such a dedicated and articulate public servant will be speaking with our students on this important day in their lives. Dr. Rice, of course, will be at home on a university campus, having had a distinguished academic career that included service as provost at Stanford University.”

Rice, the first woman to hold the position of assistant to the president for national security affairs, served from 1989 through March 1991 as director, and then senior director, of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council, and as a special assistant to the president for national security affairs in the first Bush Administration.

In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she was a special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997 she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender – Integrated Training in the Military.

In June 1999 she completed a six-year tenure as Stanford University’s provost, the chief budget and academic officer. The youngest provost to serve the institution in its 102-year history, Rice was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and an academic program involving 1,400 faculty and 14,000 students.

She has been on the Stanford faculty as a professor of political science since 1981 and received two of the institution’s highest teaching awards. At Stanford she has been a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Born in Birmingham, Ala., she earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and graduated Phi Beta Kappa at the age of 19 from the University of Denver. She received her master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and her doctorate from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Rice’s books include “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed,” with Phillip Zelikow; “The Gorbachev Era” with Alexander Dallin; and “Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovakian Army.” She also has written numerous articles on Soviet and Eastern Europe foreign and defense policy. She has served on numerous boards of directors, including as a founding member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park., Calif.

For additional information, visit the Web at

Michigan State University
Commencement/Convocation Speakers

Ernest Green, managing director, Lehman Brothers Inc., and member of the “Little Rock Nine”

Peter Seligmann, chairperson and chief executive officer, Conservation International

Bill Clinton, U.S. president

Frederik G.H. Meijer, executive committee chairperson, Meijer, Inc.

David C. Hollister, Mayor, Lansing, Michigan

Helen Thomas, Washington Bureau Chief, UPI

William Gray, president and chief executive officer, The College Fund/United Negro College Fund

John Smith, Chairman, CEO and President of GM Corporation and Branford Marsalis, jazz musician

Greg Kelser, All-American sports analyst, and Vernon J. Ehlers, the first physicist in congress

Doris Kearns Goodwin, television commentator and author; Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former U.S. secretary of state

Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate, human rights advocate and world-renowned Jewish scholar; Jean Chrétien, Canadian Prime Minister

Stephen Jay Gould, evolutionary biologist; George F. Vande Woude, expert in molecular oncology and the first director of the Van Andel Research Institute

James D. Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank Group, and Rita R. Colwell, director of the National Science Foundation

Raymond Kurzweil, founder, chairman and CEO of Kurzweil Technologies Inc., and Alejandro Junco de la Vega, publisher of Mexico’s newspaper El Norte

Wendy Baldwin, deputy director of extramural research at the National Institutes of Health, Tom Izzo, MSU’s men’s basketball head coach, and Ron Mason, MSU’s ice hockey head coach

Lee Bollinger, president of the University of Michigan; Clark Bunting, executive vice president and general manager of the Discovery Channel; and Robert Beachy, president and director of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Richard B. (Dick) Cheney, U.S. vice president; and Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Prize recipient, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

Eli Broad, chairperson of AIG SunAmerica Inc.; Eleanor Josaitis, chief executive officer of Focus: Hope; and Mark Malloch Brown, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

Jennifer Granholm, governor of the State of Michigan; and Jane Lubchenco, Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of zoology at Oregon State University