Cindy McCain speaks at Phoenix Country Day School

Phoenix Country Day School, 3901 E. Stanford Drive in the Town of Paradise Valley, host Cindy McCain as part of the school’s inaugural Maverick Speaker Series event.

Phoenix Country Day School campus (file photo)

“Maverick: The John McCain Memorial Speaker Series is not just your run-of-the mill carousel of trendy talking heads,” Head of School Andrew Rodin said in his opening remarks.

“We very intentionally honor the character of Sen. (John) McCain — a visionary who had the unique ability to see far below the surface on even the most complicated topics. We do this because these are the traits that we at PCDS have encouraged in our students since 1961. These are the traits that will continue to make a positive impact on our communities and, ultimately, the world.”

In front of a crowd of over 600 community members including students, parents, faculty, alumni and guests, Mrs. McCain was joined on stage by former Arizona Attorney General (and Mr. McCain’s first-ever chief of staff) Grant Woods for a wide-ranging conversation that spanned topics, according to a press release.

The topics included Mrs. McCain’s focus on human rights, climate change, education, and the importance of character and optimism.

“If you haven’t had the opportunity, especially to the students in the room, to read John’s concession speech in 2008, I suggest you pull it up… he framed what this country was…we can agree to disagree — we can fight like cats and dogs, but remain friends,” Mrs. McCain said on her husband’s presidential bid in 2008.

“It was about honor, courage and dignity for both candidates.”

A common theme throughout the evening, a release states, was how a few intrepid and inspired individuals can make a difference in Arizona and beyond.

“John McCain defines this series, Maverick,” Mr. Woods said during the event. “He was the embodiment of service to a cause greater than yourself.”

Finally, Mrs. McCain shared her gratitude for being the inaugural Maverick speaker.

“My husband would have been so honored to have this and I’m so glad that it’s here at PCDS,” she said. “What a wonderful opportunity for you to have your children at this wonderful school; it certainly provided the opportunities that our children have now. I hope you understand that and respect it.”

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