Classroom Dialogue with Dr. Condoleezza Rice

On April 27th 2014, Dr. Condoleezza Rice was invited by Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (SEM) to have an in-depth and up-close classroom dialogue with 50 young Tsinghua students in Room 418, Shunde Building. Her visit was first welcomed by Chopin’s beautiful piano piece, Scherzo in B flat minor played by ZHANG Xinjie, senior undergraduate in Economics and Finance. LIU Ruoyi, first-year student in Master of Finance, moderated the 90-minute discussion session.
Dr. Rice 
 
In her opening remarks, Dr. Rice emphasized the importance of finding one’s passion. Then she opened the floor to students to raise questions ranging from affirmative action and Sino-US relationship to female leadership and decision-making process. Dr. Rice took all these 20 questions from students with great sagacity and elegance. In addressing “how to succeed in different areas of life”, Dr. Rice believed that it was the skill sets one acquired throughout university education, rather than the single piece of diploma, that matters most. Among all the skill sets, she specifically emphasized three key points that lead to the road of success: discipline, critical thinking and the ability to lead. On leadership, Dr. Rice believed that shared leadership has become a tendency where one needs to provoke others’ initiative and leadership in order to reach the common goal. On education, Dr. Rice mentioned her experience as the Provost of Stanford University and encouraged students to communicate more with their professors both in class and during office hours.
 Student Gao Shangyu presented to Dr. Rice a piece of Chinese Calligraphy as gift
 
As the dialogue drew to an end, GAO Shangyu, first-year Master in Management candidate, presented to Dr. Rice a piece of Chinese calligraphy made by Miss Gao herself as a gift, and shared with Dr. Rice the richness in its meaning: “Every form of beauty has its uniqueness, precious is to appreciate other forms of beauty with openness . If beauty represents itself with diversity and integrity, the world will be blessed with harmony and unity.” This was then followed by all participants taking picture together with Dr. Rice to commemorate this wonderful event.
Group photo 
 
The classroom dialogue event was initiated and coordinated by students from Tsinghua SEM. Participants consisted of 20 undergraduates, 16 post-undergraduates, 8 Ph.D. students and 6 MBA students. Previously in October 2013, there were similar Classroom Dialogues with 14 SEM Advisory Board members, providing fantastic opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of thoughts and experiences of world-class CEOs, and the opportunities for the entrepreneurs to meet the youth in one of China’s most prestigious universities. Education shapes the future of a country, and the youth are to make the desirable future come true. Given all the precious resources being matched and international platforms being provided, we sincerely wish that Tsinghua SEM shall achieve its grand blueprint in cultivating future leaders of China and the world at large.