On Monday, October 17, Miami University’s Farmers School of Business hosted Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of State, at Millet Hall.
Albright began her speech complementing Miami University academics and expressing how much she admires the beauty of the campus. She was light hearted and received some laughter from the crowd when she poked fun at the many superstitions held by university students. She went on to talk about the quality of students the school has produced with emphasis on “Big” Ben Roethlisberger.
She continued by stating she feels immense joy knowing that she is such a huge inspiration to young girls, though her grandchildren feel differently. They tease her that it isn’t a big deal that she was the first female secretary of state as all of the secretaries of state after her have been women, with the exception of course being John Kerry. She stated that Kerry has become a nice role model for young boys hoping one day to hold that position.
Her speech then turned into a five-part letter of advice to the next president concerning foreign policy. She talked about the problems the next future leader of the free world will have to face including terrorism, Russia, the weak state of European Allies, problems in the middle east, cessation of nuclear bombs from North Korea, and globalization.
Further, her speech outlined the specific problems that she dealt with during her administration. When President Obama was elected, she gave him a memo with advice for his presidency and foreign affairs. She considered writing a similar memo for the next president to be elected this November, but thought she should devote her time campaigning for a president who would actually read the memo.
Throughout her speech, she was careful to keep her advice for the next president impartial without leaning towards one candidate. However, when she ended her speech she made it very clear which candidate she is supporting.
“The next U.S. president will have an awful weight to carry on her shoulders”.
President Crawford and Assistant Dean for External Relations Kirk Bogard introduced Albright and explained that having the first female secretary of state was a “powerful statement”.
Albright was the 64th secretary of state in 1997 and at the time was the highest-ranking woman in the U.S. government. While she was secretary of state, she handled American trade and business, reinforced American allies, and defended human rights.
Albright spoke with elegance and poise. She had the audience laughing and cheering throughout her entire speech.
It was a pleasure to have Albright at our campus and to hear her thoughts on this year’s election. She is a very influential figure and was a great addition to Miami’s lecture series. Her worked is an inspiration to many and it has paved the way for many women to come into power.