Benazir Bhutto's visit to Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia in October 2006. (Photo provided by MBC)
The former Prime Minister made a trip to the Valley a little more than one year ago, when she spent some time at Mary Baldwin College to speak with the students.
"She talked about how she would return to Pakistan and that she knew in doing that, all the dangers that that would entail, that we are shocked and saddened about today," says Dr. Pamela Fox, MBC president.
She was proud to have Bhutto relating to her students.
"She was a real human being of incredible depth and incredible compassion, and obviously of incredible courage, and she opened up in a very intimate way," says Fox.
The distance between the two countries is great, not only physically but also culturally. However, a former MBC student remembers how humble she was over dinner.
"Talking about families, hobbies, music, our dreams. Just very down to earth," says Alison Kaufman, MBC 2006 graduate and former student government president.
Kaufman's grandfather was an orthodontist who visited Pakistan and treated some of the Bhutto children. At the dinner, Bhutto remembered that connection and she passed along an important message for students interested in following her footsteps.
"You can be a leader and be a part of government, be a part of civic engagement," recalls Kaufman. "Benazir was very empowering to women in all countries."
Fox says, "She went back to give hope to the women, the children, the people of Pakistan, and she asked our women, those who were here at this table, to have that hope and convey that through their courage."
Both Fox and Kaufman say Bhutto was a beacon of hope for democracy in Pakistan, as well as a woman for all women to look up to.