Q&A with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Question: You could pick any place to give a commencement address. Why Boston College?
Rice: I've always had a lot of respect for Boston College. It's a fine institution of learning. It helped that the undersecretary for political affairs [R. Nicholas Burns '78] is a graduate. When he brought the proposal to me I thought I'd love to give a commencement address at Boston College. It's a place that I think has a reputation of being rigorous in its education but also
reaching out to kids who perhaps wouldn't otherwise have had an opportunity. A lot of first-generation college graduates. It's a very special place in that way. I also have had my experiences with Catholic education and I'm rather fond of Catholic education. I think it tends to have a kind of rigor and discipline
that is missing in a lot of institutions.
Question: You mentioned a Catholic education. You went to Notre Dame and Stanford. What's been the difference?
Rice: I went to Catholic high school, actually. St. Mary's Academy in Denver. Sisters of Loretta in Denver. But I think our religious schools in America are quite special because they uphold their traditions, their religious tradition, but they do it in a context that still allows freedom of thought and freedom of expression and it's very interesting that some of our strongest
academic institutions are also religious institutions. We talk so much in the United States about separation of church and state but of course what that meant was that there wouldn't be any state religion and people would be free to choose to be religious or not. But religion of course plays an extremely important
riole in the US and our institutions - our educational institutions - have married it quite well.
Her commencement address isn't available yet; if it does come online, I'll post it with comments.