Oprah Winfrey To Deliver Keynote Speech for Tennessee State University’s 2023 Commencement

Oprah Winfrey To Deliver Keynote Speech for Tennessee State University’s 2023 Commencement

The graduating class at this Nashville HBCU is in for a treat.

Television producer, actress, and author Oprah Winfrey will deliver the 2023 undergraduate commencement speech at her alma mater, Tennessee State University.

“Commencement is always a special time for our students and their families, as it marks a major milestone in our student’s lives and a sign of success for them,” said TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover.

Following the completion of her high school years at East Nashville High School, the global media leader received a full scholarship to attend TSU, where she majored in speech communications and performing arts.

“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,” Glover added.

According to WBLS, while Winfrey attended the HBCU she became the youngest and first Black woman to land a job as news anchor at Nashville’s WLAC-TV, now WTVF-TV. The media mogul was only one credit shy of her degree when she decided to leave school to pursue her broadcast journalism career.

Winfrey returned to TSU to complete the final paper for her studies and graduated in 1986. In addition to a visit from the philanthropist, TSU will have United States Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (Miss.) address graduate students at an indoor ceremony.

“Ms. Winfrey and Congressman Thompson are trailblazers, history makers, and HBCU graduates, adding to the excitement and anticipation for both commencement ceremonies,” Glover said.

TSU’s undergraduate commencement will be held on Saturday, May 6 at 8 a.m. CDT, in Hale Stadium. The graduate session with Thompson will be May 5. Over the course of both days, more than 800 students will receive degrees in various disciplines.