Commencement Speaker

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world for nearly 30 years, making her one of the most respected and admired people today. 

As Chairman and CEO, she's guiding her successful cable network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and is the founder of O, The Oprah Magazine and Harpo Films.  Winfrey will be returning to scripted television in the upcoming mega-church drama “Greenleaf,” premiering on OWN in June. 

In December 2015, Winfrey embarked on a multi-city speaking tour in Australia and New Zealand, on the heels of her wildly successful U.S. arena tour in 2014 and Canadian speaking tour in 2013.  

Winfrey is an Academy Award-nominated actress for her roll in “The Color Purple” and earned critical acclaim in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”  In 2014, she produced and acted in the Academy Award-winning film “Selma.”  

In October 2016, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa will celebrate its sixth graduating class. Winfrey established the school in 2007 to provide education for academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. Graduates of the school have continued on to higher education both in South Africa and at colleges and universities around the world.  

Winfrey was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, the nation’s highest civilian honor.  For 25 years, Winfrey was host of the #1 award-winning talk show “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”