Sheryl Sandberg Visits Marshall University

Sheryl Sandberg visiting Marshall

“Sheryl Sandberg Family Visit & Fireside Chat” by Austin O’Conner

Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta (formerly Facebook), sat down with Marshall University President Brad D. Smith while visiting the university to speak on her story of perseverance and resilience in the face of life’s greatest challenges. In addition to her time at Marshall, Sheryl also visited Huntington, West Virginia, where she commended the community on its efforts with developing programs addressing substance abuse, homelessness, and food insecurity.

Sheryl Sandberg’s Story

Sheryl’s time as an executive leader at Meta and Google, and as Chief of Staff for former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has made her one of the world’s top business thinkers. While not everyone can relate to Sheryl’s experience as an executive leader, many can relate to her inspirational message of grit and resilience when dealing with tragedy.

In her book, Option B, she documents her story of resilience following the sudden death of her husband Dave Goldberg. Sheryl discusses how to handle life’s most unexpected events and persevere through the hard times. During a fireside chat with Brad D. Smith she shared the insight she’s gained through this, stating that “No one learns on the easy days, while on the couch watching TV, we learn on the hard days… When people make jokes about getting older, it’s not funny. You either live a long life, or you don’t. Every birthday, I now celebrate.”

Gender equality in the workplace and at home is a cause particularly close to Sheryl’s heart. As are compassionate leadership and learning from every possible experience which Sheryl also spoke about during the fireside chat with Brad.

Uplifting the Huntington Community

During Sheryl’s visit to West Virginia, she made time to stop by organizations working to tackle issues affecting Huntington. This included the Golden Girl Group Home, Project Hope, Harmony House, and the Compass Center, among other establishments, to better understand the community.

Sheryl commented on her time in West Virginia, saying, “We all have a responsibility to each other, I don’t want to live on one side of the country and have no idea what is happening on the other. I know that by leaving my little corner, I will learn.” 

Brad, Marshall and the Huntington community were positively impacted by Sheryl’s visit to the  Mountain State and took away a deep appreciation for her time and insights.