Former talk show host and owner of The OWN Network, Oprah Winfrey recently received an honorary degree from Harvard University and gave an inspiring speech to the class of 2013. During her speech Oprah spoke on her own show and it’s success of running for twenty-one years and with high ratings but also said that she was embarrassed when Harvard president Drew Faust asked her to deliver the commencement address just a year ago when her OWN network ratings were low.
It really was this time last year the worst period in my professional life. I’m here to tell you I have turned that network around. Thank you so much, you don’t know what motivation you were for me.”
Oprah also took a few jabs at Washington politicians and a few cable news networks saying: “I know you know the truth. We all know that we are better than the cynicism and the pessimism that is regurgitated throughout Washington and the 24-hour cable news cycle — not my channel, by the way.”
Ms. Winfrey received a burst of applause when her speech turned political, the OWN Network CEO also spoke on embracing expanded gun background checks, pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and expanded education and opportunities for the poor.
“There’s a common denominator in our human experience. Most of us, I tell you, we don’t want to be divided. … What we want is to be validated. We want to be understood,” Oprah continued.
As she begin to come to the conclusion of her speech, Ms. Winfrey offered some advice to the graduates saying, “It doesn’t matter how far you might rise, at some point you’re bound to stumble. And when you do, there is something I want you to remember. No such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us into another direction. The challenge of life I have found is to build a resume that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be, but about who you want to be. I have faith that no matter what, class of 2013. You will be okay, and you will make sure our country is okay.”
-Kelly J Newson