Elon University students learn the importance of International awareness from Madeline Albright

April 1, 2009 at 2:02 am 1 comment

Madeline Albright addresses Elon students at honor convocation on the importance of International awareness.

By Patrick McCabe

Written March 31, 2009

The trumpets sounded as 65 flags, representing the 65 countries where Elon students hail from, processed up the aisle to begin the Honors Convocation that took place this afternoon at Elon University.

Madeline Albright speaks at Honors Convocation

Madeline Albright speaks at Honors Convocation


As students who made the dean’s and president’s list sat down at the ceremony to celebrate their achievements they witnessed as Dean of Cultural and Special Programs, George Troxler was honored for his hard work, Elon alumni, Noel Allen, received an honorary doctorate and the keynote speaker former secretary of state, Madeline Albright addressed the future of leadership.

Speaking with absolute poise and grace, Ms. Albright was quite comfortable joking with students while still recognizing their accomplishments as honors students.

“You should be proud,” Albright said. “And I hope today’s convocation will inspire you to even greater success.”

As the first female secretary of state, Albright can be considered on of the most accomplished women of our time. Yet she calls on future generations to do even greater things than she could imagine.

Albright focused her speech on three interconnected ideas including the role of education in the current changing world, importance of international learning and the process of connecting what we do with what we learn.

“We are in a time when truth and lies are locked in a constant battle for dominance,” Albright said. “We must challenge ourselves economically and socially to do better.”

As a foreign diplomat Albright is a huge advocate for international study. She insists that we incorporate international study for all students. She believes that we have a lot to learn from other cultures. Through our foreign relationships we have the opportunity to grow and mature.

When I was Secretary of State,” Albright said. “I encountered Members of Congress who boasted that they did not own a passport and had never ventured outside the United States.”

Albright is hopeful that with this new generation a new attitude towards international awareness be present.

“If we’re going to create a dynamic whereby intellectual freedom and global security reinforce one another,” Albright said. “These experiences are a great place to start — because the connections made in a classroom or a dorm have a way of strengthening over time.”

Secretary Albright also spoke about President Obama and the current situation he has taken on as president. President Obama is not afraid to ask for help and is looking to the new generation for help.

“He will need young leaders who are not just dreamers, but also doers – people who combine theoretical knowledge with real-world skills,” Albright said. “After all, every new president inherits headaches, but President Obama has inherited a whole emergency room.”

Albright closed by talking about the long road of hard work that awaits both our president and our country as we attempt to fix our current situation. A lot of tough decisions await our nation as we continue the race between education and catastrophe.

“As I look around this audience of excellent students and high achievers,” Albright said. “I am convinced that we will win – not easily, not immediately, but slowly and surely, we will prevail.”

See video footage of Albright’s speech:



Entry filed under: Guest appearances, International Awareness. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Janna  |  May 4, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    You should trim the front end of this video clip off – it is easy to do. It is just not looking good for you to start us off with the camera on its side and then tipping it up. Congratulations on getting video from a close spot and getting the clip posted. Often it is true that any video is better than no video. In this case, because you have a full 6 minutes you can definitely trim the sideways shot off the front end. The copy block is pretty gray – you need to insert subheadlines or pull out a quote or two and make them bold to stand out.


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