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Oprah WinfreyMedia mogul and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey will deliver the 2012 commencement address at Spelman College on Sunday, May 20. The class of approximately 550 will soak in the wisdom of one of the most celebrated, beloved and successful women in the world.

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Winfrey has a long history with Spelman College — one of the institutions of higher learning in the historic Atlanta University Center, which also includes Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morris Brown College. In 1993, she received an honorary degree from Spelman College and this year she will receive Spelman’s National Community Service Award.

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Winfrey’s groundbreaking Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa is in partnership with Spelman. Several Spelman students participate in internships at the academy, while several girls from the academy have been accepted into Spelman’s freshman class of 2016.

Spelman’s president, Dr. Beverly Tatum, voiced her enthusiasm for Oprah in a statement released Thursday:

We are thrilled to welcome Oprah Winfrey back to our campus to receive this well-deserved award. I know her address to the Class of 2012 will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the graduates, as it did in 1993.”

Previous speakers include First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011, Dr. Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations,  in 2010, Dr. Cornel West in 2009, Sheila Johnson, co-founder of Black Entertainment in 2008 and Dr. William “Bill” Cosby in 2007.


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