MOBILE, Alabama -- Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will speak at the University of Mobile’s Leadership Banquet in November, the school announced Monday.
Rice, who also served four years as national security advisor under President George W. Bush, is following her old boss to the University of Mobile event. Bush gave the keynote address last year.
University President Mark Foley said he’s "thrilled" to have Rice as the next keynote speaker at "what has become one of the premier events in the city."
"Here you have a very, very distinguished and accomplished lady, and in so many fields," Foley said. "She demonstrates a continuing commitment to quality higher education, which I personally appreciate."
Rice, who was born and raised in Birmingham, was provost of Stanford University prior to joining the Bush administration and is now a professor and senior fellow for that school’s Hoover Institution.
The Leadership Banquet, in its seventh year, is the university’s largest fundraising event, according to spokeswoman Kathy Dean. The events typically net between $200,000 and last year’s high of $400,000 for school scholarships, she said. About 1,000 people attended last year, Dean added.
"The bottom line for me is: How do we provide more revenue for our students?" Foley said.
Dean declined to say how much in speaker’s fees Rice would receive, adding that the school is contractually obligated to not disclose the amount.
Condi Rice in Mobile
In addition to Bush, past speakers have included his brother, Jeb Bush; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and retired U.S. Sen. Zell Miller.
This year’s event will celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary, highlighting themes of faith, leadership and patriotism, according to a school news release. Ensembles from the school’s Center for Performing Arts are scheduled to perform.
"It’s a very classy event," Dean said. "You know, it’s an opportunity to introduce the University of Mobile to people who may not be as aware of us as we’d like them to be."