Entertainment behind the scenes
Media mogul and talk show host Oprah Winfrey had gifts for Stanford University’s graduates when she spoke at their commencement on Sunday – but they didn’t include new cars.
“I really wanted to give you cars . . . just couldn’t pull that off,” said Winfrey. Instead, the roughly 2,600 grads in attendance got two books: Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” and Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.”
In, September 2004, Winfrey made headlines and stunned 276 audience members of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” with gifts of Pontiac G6 sports cars donated by General Motors.
O.K., so self-help books aren’t as great as a car — especially for grads. They just finished at least four years of study. More for graduate students. But as far as gifts go, they are less likely to get you in trouble with the tax man.
Winfrey delivered the prestigious university’s commencement address on Sunday and was among friends. Her goddaughter Kirby Bumpus, daughter of her Oprah’s BFF Gayle King, was among the graduates.
Winfrey in June topped Forbes Celebrity 100 Power list after earning $275 million in the past year. And for the longest time, she was not a college grad.
Winfrey, speaking on Father’s Day in the United States, said her dad never let her forget that she was one credit short of a college diploma. Even after she had her own TV show, she remembered him saying, “Oprah Gail, I don’t know what you’re going to do without that degree.”
In 1987, when she was asked to speak during Commencement at her alma mater, Tennessee State University, she finished her course work, turned in her final paper, and earned her degree.
“I know if anything happens that one credit will be my salvation,” she said.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin)