Learning to Lead
November 30, 2010 – Greensboro Coliseum
Guilford students meet globally known figures in the arts, humanities and public affairs each year as part of the Bryan Series. Our distinguished lecturers spend time in small group sessions on campus before giving a public talk.
President Bill Clinton expressed his fascination with Guilford’s Quaker heritage at the outset of his Bryan Series talk to an audience of 4,200 at the Greensboro Coliseum Nov. 30.
“When I was president, my daughter attended and graduated high school from the Sidwell Friends School, where the students practiced a lot of traditional Quaker rituals including community service and a moment of meaningful reflection where people could speak if they had something to say or say nothing if they didn’t. I often thought it would be good if there were more Quakers in Congress when I was president,” he said.
“I’m so delighted to be here in a place where people believe you can prepare for the modern world without giving up on all traditional wisdom,” he added. “One of the reasons I like the Quakers is they were among America’s first communitarians. That is, they believed in independent thought. They believed people could have political differences and differences of opinion over a wide range of matters, but they thought it was important to recognize that our freedom could best be realized within a community with shared responsibilities.”
“I still think that’s important, and in the world in which we live today, which is the most interdependent world in history, where actions half a world away can impact others, it is more important than ever before.”
President Clinton touched on a wide range of topics in his 50-minute speech, including the importance of environmental sustainability practices at Guilford. The speech was followed by a 30-minute Q&A moderated by Terry Graedon, a Guilford trustee and co-host of “The People’s Pharmacy” on public radio.
Learn more about Guilford’s Bryan Series.