Oprah Winfrey to Speak at Stanford 2008 Commencement

Posted by at 9:19PM

I just got an email in my inbox about Oprah Winfrey being our commencement speaker for graduation this year. My first thought:
“Wow – the senior cabinet got the job done”.
Everyone knows that Oprah is huge. But how huge? She’s been called “one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th Century” and “one of the most influential people” of 2004 through 2007 by Time.
Her TV show is the longest running day-time talk show ever (22 seasons) and though I couldn’t find any numbers, is watched by a enormous number of people.
She also has a really popular magazine called O which Fortune called the “most successful startup ever” in the magazine industry. (I personally find it hilarious that every issue has Oprah on the cover)
Yeah, her show is often “feel-good” and spiritual and people make jokes about how women always cry when the watch Oprah. But that doesn’t matter. She clearly knows something about being famous and successful (something every Stanford student secretly or not-so-secretly wants to be).
Her success is even more impressive when you consider that, according to wikipedia, she was born to an single teenage mom and raised in the ghettos of Milwaukee.
Last year, the graduation speaker was Dana Gioia, a poet and the chairman of the National Endowment of the Arts. No sloucher, but not exactly what many seniors were looking for. And the while not everyone was disappointed by Dana Gioia, many were.
I’m glad the Class of 08 was able to step up.


10 Responses to “Oprah Winfrey to Speak at Stanford 2008 Commencement”

  1. Min says:

    i heart her!

  2. Topham says:

    Dismissing Dana Gioia and celebrating Oprah Winfrey says a lot about Stanford and our culture. Have you ever actually watched her show? Without throwing up, I mean.

  3. Shop Little Gifts says:

    How exciting! Can’t wait to see her. Her ability to relate to people of different age groups, gender and ethnicity definitely represents the diversity at Stanford. And who better to encourage students to be themselves and live their best life. It’s so easy to hop out of college, business school, law school, med school and just become what people think you should be. But I think Oprah will shed some light on seeking the truth about work, life and purpose.

  4. blah says:

    I would rather have j.k rowling (Harvard’s speaker for 08)

  5. Gaurav Ragtah says:

    OK great!
    But one thing I didn’t appreciate was that mention of Dana Gioia. Okay, if you don’t like someone… but why does everyone like to stick up to the very famous people! come on, we can become like them one day ourselves! It’s good to look up to them but that’s it!

  6. alum says:

    She’s not speaking due to the Senior Class Cabinet.
    Her goddaughter (daughter of Gayle King, Oprah’s best friend and frequent visitor of the show) is in the class of 2008.

  7. tree says:

    Wow, Oprah is big big and i would like the chance to just listen to her in person. I need help so hoping some one can give me some idea as to how I can get tickets to her day at Stanford. If anyone one out there has 2 tickets I would be very grateful indeed.

  8. temp says:

    there are no tickets; it’s free

  9. Nancy says:

    Did Stanford run out of real smart people? Or did they need money from Ms. O.? And therefore conviently forget Oprah promotes pseudo-scientific theories like ‘the Secret, the worst New Age crap imaginable? Stanford is supposed to be a university, not a provisional home for celebs, cult-followers and their weird ideas…Who will be next, Tom Cruise? Lecturing on Scientological wisdom?

  10. Brandon says:

    I think the comment made by the alum says it all:
    “She’s not speaking due to the Senior Class Cabinet.
    Her goddaughter (daughter of Gayle King, Oprah’s best friend and frequent visitor of the show) is in the class of 2008.”
    Anyhoo, Oprah will create a bit of buzz for commencement which honestly, makes the day at least somehwat interesting. Commencement can be a bore, but having some spice which Oprah will bring will offset that a bit.


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