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Winfrey extols life of 'inner truth' at Skidmore graduation

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/20/2017
In this photo provided by Skidmore College, Oprah Winfrey speaks at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP) © The Associated Press In this photo provided by Skidmore College, Oprah Winfrey speaks at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) — Oprah Winfrey advised graduates at Skidmore College to follow their "inner truth" and live a spiritual life during a commencement speech Saturday in upstate New York.

In this photo provided by Skidmore College, Oprah Winfrey speaks at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP) © The Associated Press In this photo provided by Skidmore College, Oprah Winfrey speaks at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP)

The author, actress and former talk show host spoke at the graduation in Saratoga Springs, where one of the more than 600 members of the Class of 2017 included a student who had attended her Leadership Academy.

In this photo provided by Skidmore College, author Wes Moore embraces Oprah Winfrey at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The author, actress and former talk show host spoke at the graduation. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP) © The Associated Press In this photo provided by Skidmore College, author Wes Moore embraces Oprah Winfrey at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The author, actress and former talk show host spoke at the graduation. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP)

The media mogul opened the academy in 2007 for poor girls in South Africa.

In this photo provided by Skidmore College, Tim Harper, Associate Professor, Associate Chair Department of Management & Business at Skidmore College, walks with Oprah Winfrey at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Winfrey spoke to the 2017 graduates during the ceremony. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP) © The Associated Press In this photo provided by Skidmore College, Tim Harper, Associate Professor, Associate Chair Department of Management & Business at Skidmore College, walks with Oprah Winfrey at Skidmore College's 106th Commencement, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Winfrey spoke to the 2017 graduates during the ceremony. (Erin Covey/Skidmore College via AP)

Winfrey is speaking at another commencement Sunday at Smith College, a women's liberal arts school in Northampton, Massachusetts. Another one of her Leadership Academy alumna will be receiving a degree there.

After receiving an honorary doctorate of letters in the arts from the private liberal arts college during the ceremony held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Winfrey lectured graduates on some of the secrets to her success.

"I have been so blessed to live inside the dream of God," she said, noting that she has learned to follow her "inner truth" in career decisions going back more than three decades.

"It's a big, bad world out there," she advised, but encouraged the graduates by adding: "There is nothing more powerful than you using your personality to serve the calling of yourself."

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