Media maven, philanthropist, actress and author Oprah Winfrey is the confirmed keynote speaker for Tennessee State University’s 2023 undergraduate class.
Before becoming a self-made juggernaut brand, Winfrey started her journey in entertainment at Tennessee State University. There, she received a full-ride scholarship and majored in Speech Communications and Performing Arts. She eventually landed a job at Nashville’s WLAC-TV, where she was both the youngest news anchor and the first black female news anchor. Despite being one credit short of her degree, Winfrey decided to leave school and sign on with a local television station as a reporter and anchor.
“Commencement is always a special time for our students and their families, as it marks a major milestone in our students’ lives and a sign of success for them,” says TSU, Dr. President Glenda Glover.
“To have Ms. Winfrey as our speaker will be a life changing moment for graduates and the University. She is someone who has walked the TSU campus as a student, sat in some of the same classroom, and knows first-hand the value of a TSU education. Ms. Winfrey and Congressman Thompson are trailblazers, history makers and HBCU graduates, adding to the excitement and anticipation for both commencement ceremonies.”
The commencement will be on May 6 at 8 a.m.
United States Congressman Bennie G. Thompson, Miss-Second District will be the speaker for the graduate students on May 5.
Over 800 students will receive degrees in various disciplines across both days.