Harvard officials just announced that none other than talk-show icon Oprah Winfrey will step up to the podium as speaker at Harvard’s 362nd Commencement.
The owner, founder and namesake of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, will speak on May 30 during the Ivy League’s commencement day afternoon exercises, which serve as the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. The event will take place in the Tercentenary Theatre of Harvard Yard, between Memorial Church and Widener Library.
Harvard president Drew Faust praised Oprah’s work (how couldn’t he?) and called her one of the most admired women in the world.
“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,” Faust says. “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.”
Carl F. Muller, the president of the Harvard Alumni Association, called Oprah an “inspiration.”
“Oprah Winfrey is an inspiration to people around the world who care about opening minds and serving the common good,” he said. “I know our alumni will value the opportunity to hear from her in May.”
Oprah will join the great list of Harvard Commencement speakers, which already features the likes of J.K. Rowling, Bill Gates and Al Gore. –Lucas Parolin