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News Release

February 21, 2008

Contact:

Elaine Ray, News Service: (650) 723-7162, ray@stanford.edu

Oprah Winfrey to deliver Stanford Commencement address

Oprah Winfrey, the global media leader and philanthropist, will be the 2008 Commencement speaker at Stanford University, President John Hennessy announced Thursday.

“Each year at Commencement we encourage graduating students to think about the skills they have acquired and the impact they can have in the world,” said Hennessy. “I can think of few people who have put such advice to better use than Oprah Winfrey. She has not been content simply to succeed—and succeed spectacularly—at her given profession. She has relentlessly continued her education and sought to improve the world in remarkable and varied ways. Her efforts in the areas of philanthropy—and her heartfelt desire to improve the lives of less fortunate people—serve as a model to us all.”

Senior Class Presidents Brent Pirruccello, Fareez Giga, Jessica Stanley and Malinda Lee said they were elated by Winfrey’s acceptance of the invitation to speak at Commencement.

“It is hard to imagine someone who has a more inspiring story to tell than Oprah Winfrey,” the class presidents said in a statement. “Her professional achievements and social activism offer insights from which each of us can personally benefit. We look forward to hearing her thoughts about meeting life’s challenges and making a difference in the world. We are sure her observations and counsel will be eagerly greeted by our fellow graduates.”

Stanford's 117th Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies are part of a two-day celebration for graduates, their families and friends, and members of the Stanford community. Commencement will be held at Stanford Stadium on Sunday, June 15.

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