Megan Johnson and Sophie T. Stern
You get a scholarship, you get a scholarship!
Oprah Winfrey made the most of her appearance as the special guest at Thursday’s University of Massachusetts' Chancellor’s Speaker Series, pledging to match the $1.5 million the event had already raised.
“I was so moved by each of your stories that coming here and speaking and sharing this beautiful evening with you all, I want to do even more,” Winfrey, 64, told a crowd of more than 6000 at the Tsongas Arena. “I would like to match the $1.5 million… so people like yourselves can continue on the path of the greatest, purest, truest expression of themselves.”
Winfrey spent time earlier in the day to meet with UMass Lowell students, before receiving an honorary degree from the university.
Over the course of the 90-minute conversation with UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, Winfrey covered topics ranging from whether or not she misses her iconic TV show (“I don’t miss the show, but I do miss the audience”), to why she never went to therapy (“I’ve never had a day of therapy because I had mine all in front of you all”), to hiring someone to count the number of trees in her yard (3667, to be exact). But she also shared how she works through anger and frustration in a troubled world.
“People still piss me off,” Winfrey said. “I still have to work at it. It does matter because I know, that beneath the surface of your politics, of your anger, of your disgruntled-ness, you actually still want the same thing that I want.”
While Winfrey recognized that her life is amazing, she also called on the audience to avoid comparison and seek what’s good in their life.
“I have this amazing life. It’s as good as you think it is, and even better. It is. But also, so is yours,” Winfrey said. “So don’t waste your time thinking about what my life is, or somebody else’s is. Look at the grace that you have been given, and think about how to shift that paradigm, and take what you’ve been given and use it in service to serve the world.”
Ultimately, Winfrey said the key to happiness is sharing in other people’s joy.
“You can bless you own life by being happy for other people’s success. Any bitterness — you have to train yourself in the vibration of positivity. You have to work on that. Because any time you start saying, ‘Why is that not me?’ That negative stuff, that energy comes back to you,” said Winfrey. “My religion is the third law of motion and physics, which says what you put out is what’s coming back.”
All of the money raised will go to the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship at the university.