Oprah Winfrey to Speak at Harvard's 362nd Commencement

 

Oprah Winfrey has been named speaker at Harvard's 362nd commencement.

The OWN honcho, billed by The Harvard Crimson as a "media mogul and billionaire philanthropist," will address about 32,000 degree candidates, family members, faculty, alumni and guests May 30 during commencement at the outdoor Tercentenary Theater in Harvard Yard.

“Oprah’s journey from her grandmother’s Mississippi farm to becoming one of the world’s most admired women is one of the great American success stories,” Harvard president Drew Faust said in a press release. “She has used her extraordinary influence and reach as a force for good in the world, with a constant focus on the importance of educational opportunity and the virtues of serving others.”

The illustrious speaking engagement has been filled by such influential figures as Al Gore (1994), Benazir Bhutto (1989), Bill Gates (2007) and J.K. Rowling (2008).

Winfrey has delivered commencement addresses at Duke University and Stanford University and last year spoke at Spelman College in Atlanta.

The commencement is preceded by Class Day, a less-formal assembly that usually enlists a high-profile speaker as well. Last year brought Andy Samberg and Rep. Barney Frank, while the year prior had Amy PoehlerBill Clinton spoke at the 2007 Class Day.

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