At CC’s Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19, global media leader, philanthropist, producer, and actress Oprah Winfrey urged Colorado College graduates to use their lives in service. “I’m here to tell you that you actually do get to transform the world every day by your actions. Small steps lead to big accomplishments,” said Winfrey, in a Commencement speech that Forbes listed as No. 1 in a June story titled “7 Commencement Speeches of 2019 That Will Inspire You.

Class of 2019 quote:

“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”

— Angela Davis

Winfrey was introduced by her former student Palesa Mokoena ’19. Photo by Jennifer Coombes

In 2017, after Winfrey attended Commencement in support of one of her students from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa who graduated from CC, she was invited to give the Commencement address the next year.

Then in 2019, as a second CC student from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls would be among the graduates, President Jill Tiefenthaler invited Winfrey again. Winfrey accepted CC’s invitation, and was introduced at Commencement by her former student Palesa Mokoena ’19. Visit CC’s 2019 Commencement page.

This year 80% of the Class of 2019 participated in the senior class gift, raising $3,673. The class supported five areas of the college with their gift: the Annual Fund, the Annual Fund for Financial Aid, the Butler Center, the CC Ecofund, and individual academic departments.