Big Guests in Town

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and head of the world’s largest charitable foundation tweeted this today –

“Melinda & I are in Memphis today to learn from visits & discussions with students, teachers, parents and local leaders. Inspiring stories…”

Gates and his wife visited Hamilton and Ridgeway High Schools on the one-year anniversary of the announcement the Gates Foundation is investing more than $90 million in Memphis City Schools.

Later on, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was at Davis-Kidd to promote her new memoir “Extraordinary, Ordinary People.” She was introduced to the crowd – and flanked by – both Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr.

On behalf of the crowd, Luttrell asked her what she thought her biggest accomplishment was. Dr. Rice, who’s a college professor, pointed to her work with students in the classroom.

Wharton said he’d first read about Rice in the book “Rise of the Vulcans” about George W. Bush’s war cabinet. He said that book described Dr. Rice as possessing the smooth charm of Bill Clinton.

Wharton joked that Rice may not approve of that comparison, but that Wharton nevertheless found it to be true.

In brief remarks to the crowd, Rice talked about the importance of education. About how students need to get a well-rounded education that includes the arts, and about how teachers who are struggling or not cutting it need to get the help they need or find another job.

Apologies to any other unnamed bigwigs who may have slipped into the Bluff City Wednesday.