Gaone Masire (‘82) delivers Price lecture

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Gaone Masire (‘82) delivers Price lecture

Gaone Masire  (‘82) delivered the Price lecture as a part of the continued celebration of Black Student Union's 50th anniversary.

Gaone Masire (‘82) delivered the Price lecture as a part of the continued celebration of Black Student Union's 50th anniversary.

Emily Turner (‘19) I Photo Bureau

Gaone Masire (‘82) delivered the Price lecture as a part of the continued celebration of Black Student Union's 50th anniversary.

Emily Turner (‘19) I Photo Bureau

Emily Turner (‘19) I Photo Bureau

Gaone Masire (‘82) delivered the Price lecture as a part of the continued celebration of Black Student Union's 50th anniversary.

Andrea Hernandez Delgado, Staff Writer

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Gaone Masire (‘82) presented the annual Women and Gender studies Price lecture titled “From Luther to the international stage: My journey as a woman leader” sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies department and the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement on Nov. 27 in Valders 206. Masire’s presentation was part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union. Approximately 90 people were in attendance as Masire, a former international student from Botswana, spoke about her experience before and after graduating from Luther. Her speech was followed by a Q&A segment.

While Masire was attending Luther, her father, Quett Masire, was the second President of Botswana. According to Masire, during the time she was overseas, her home country was the 25th poorest country in the world. Having a father in that position was hard for Masire.

“It was a disadvantage having my father as the President because many people thought I was already advantaged, so I had to work extra hard on my own to be who I am,” Masire said in the lecture.

[Masire] talked a lot about getting women in leadership positions, which is something that needs to happen more often. I was very surprised [by] how she started at Luther and how she pushed and went for all the top positions that she could. It really showed me how motivated she has been to be the best that she can be.

  -Rebecca Sandness (19) Robert Shedinger

Despite added challenges, Masire has fond memories of her time at college. She says that all the students and teachers were respectful towards her during the three years she was at Luther. When Masire came to campus, there were also other students from Botswana that she knew, so she felt less alone when she arrived. However, Masire still experienced things at Luther that led her to recognize that she was a minority as an international student and as a student of color.

“If I missed a class, the teacher would say ‘Where is the student from Botswana?’” Masire said.

As soon as she finished her studies overseas, Masire began working for the Bank of Botswana. She recently retired from the bank, after 30 years of work. Masire’s hard work has earned her many leadership roles in other organizations like the head of the HR department of the African Union. Rebecca Sandness (‘19) was inspired by her success.

Andrea Hernandez Delgado (‘22) | Chips
Rabab Mohamed Nafe (‘22) talks with Gaone Masire (‘82) after her lecture.

“She [Masire] talked a lot about getting women in leadership positions, which is something that needs to happen more often,” Sandness said. “I was very surprised how she started at Luther and how she just pushed and went for all the top positions that she could. It really showed me how motivated she has been to be the best that she can be.”

Masire recalled the cultural expectations placed on her by her parents, both of whom were school teachers. Growing up as the eldest child, Masire had to set the standard for the rest of her five siblings. She talked about how those expectations helped her quickly learned the importance of handling pressure and how that helped her with the rest of her career. Her work ethic and achievements inspired Emma Johnson (‘20).

“She [Masire] seemed to be very persistent throughout her story,” Johnson said. “She talked about how she would not let an opportunity that came to her just go. She would go for it, even if she was not going to get paid for it. She knew that all the opportunities she would take would better herself in the future. That shows us students that we have to do extracurricular activities, even if we do not get anything for them right now, because they are really going to help us in the end.”

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