Oprah delivers Duke commencement speech

Oprah Winfrey delivers the commencement address at Duke University May 10 and graduates are inspired to greatness.

Who doesn’t love this time of year? Commencement speeches galore, the stars give compelling speeches to share their wisdom and lifelong advice.

The place: Duke University.
The purpose: Commencement Address.
The A-list cameo: Oprah Winfrey!

Oprah meets the graduates of Duke University

You may know by now that Oprah has a BFF named Gayle King. Well, Gayle’s son, William, attended Duke and is officially an alumnus. Oprah gave his commencement address and noted that he never wants people to know that they know each other. She quips, “I’m like his crazy aunt that they let out at commencements.”

Among Oprah’s words of wisdom, she told the crowd of 4,440 Duke graduates to lend a hand. One of the best ways they can enhance their own life, she says, “Is to enhance somebody else’s.”

She also added that every day you have a chance to make the choice to stand in your own shoes. “Will you stand them in humility and compassion and courage,” Oprah asks.

Oprah’s Duke University highlights

“You really haven’t completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward. That’s the truth,” Winfrey says. “Move to higher ground, that’s the real goal. How do you get someone else to move to higher ground?”

“Graduates, I know this,” Winfrey says. “If you can see the possibility of change in your life, see the possibility of what you can become and not just what you are, you will be a huge success.”

“You never know what kindness you offer today to someone, how that might live with them forever,” she says. “So graduates, if you can be generous enough to say kind, affirming words using your life in service to someone else’s. But you really haven’t completed the circle of success unless you can help somebody else move forward…move to higher ground. That’s why we are all alive…to use ourselves, our lives for something bigger than ourselves.”

“You are responsible for your happiness, and you are responsible for the energy you bring to everything,” Oprah says in her typical words to live by — Oprah does it again!

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