Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, entertained guests during a pair of receptions at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.
Albright spoke at two receptions, one on January 29 to a full house of invited guests, the second on January 30 to a large group of middle and high school students.
At the January 29 presentation, Albright was presented with the Ralph W. Hauenstein Fellowship Medal, one of Grand Valley State University's highest honors.
Albright shared stories about her upbringing, what impacted her life choices and goals, and her education in the U.S. and abroad as a child.
Albright recounted several stories about her famous lapel pins, including times when pins got her in trouble, and when they eased tensions during diplomatic trips. One of her more well-known pins is the head of the Statue of Liberty, with two small clocks as the eyes. One of the clocks is upside-down, and when asked why, she explained that it was "so that I had one clock to know when a meeting was done, and so did the other person in the room."
At the January 30 event, Albright took questions from four Hauenstein Center Cook Leadership Fellows, and a large group of students from districts across West Michigan. The fellows included Xinyi Ou, Heidi McPheeters, Mike Cnossen, and Darris Sawtelle.