Multimedia powerhouse Oprah Winfrey was the keynote speaker for Colorado College’s commencement on May 19. Oprah spoke, free of charge, after being asked by President Jill Tiefenthaler, who knew the star would be in the audience to observe the graduation of Lee-Ann “Palesa” Mokoena, who attended Oprah’s school for gifted, underprivileged girls in South Africa, and is like a daughter to her.
In her speech, Oprah told graduates that they must make a decision about how they will have a positive impact on the world. But she said that graduates must first focus on getting and holding down a job and then embrace all of who they are, find their purpose and pursue it. And she said all people will fail — she herself was demoted from hosting the evening news to hosting a talk show, a disappointment at the time.
“Take a deep breath right with me right now and repeat this, ‘Everything is always working out for me,’” she told the graduates, calling it her mantra.
Oprah also gave every graduate a copy of her book, The Path Made Clear, and made digital versions available free to everyone else that day.
In a verbal wink to the audience, she proclaimed, “You get a book, you get a book and everybody gets a book!”