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Oprah Winfrey tells grads to seek fulfillment in service

Bill E. Peterson, Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Development, left, presents Oprah Winfrey with an honorary degree during Smith College's 139th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21, 2017 in Northampton, Mass. The author, actress, philanthropist and former talk show host gave the college's commencement address. (David Molnar/Springfield Republican via AP)

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — Oprah Winfrey advised Smith College graduates to seek fulfillment by serving others and live with intention during the school’s commencement Sunday.

The author, actress and former talk show host addressed more than 600 graduates at the ceremony in Northampton, Massachusetts. She was among five women who received an honorary degree from the women’s liberal arts school.

Winfrey told the graduates to “shift the paradigm to service and the rewards will come.”

“This understanding that there is an alignment between who you are and what you do is the real, true empowerment,” Winfrey said.

One of Smith’s graduating students, Morgan Mpungose, attended the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy, a boarding school that the media mogul opened in 2007 for poor girls in South Africa.

Winfrey mentioned Mpungose in her speech, referring to her as Winfrey’s academy “daughter.” Winfrey spoke of Mpungose’s transformation during her time at the school, and said the hope of seeing such transformations in other women is what led her to found the academy.

“When you educate a girl, you are not just educating her,” Winfrey said. “You are educating her to create opportunities (for others).”

Winfrey spoke Saturday at Skidmore College’s commencement in Saratoga Springs, New York. Skidmore’s graduating class included a student who had also attended Winfrey’s Leadership Academy.

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