Oprah Winfrey headlined a fundraiser at Bennett College, encouraging about 300 guests to support education and give back to their community.
“You can’t continue to move forward unless you give back what you are given,” Winfrey said during a rare public speaking appearance. “It is our calling.”
The famed talk-show host spoke at Bennett College, the Black college for women that is in the midst of a $50 million fundraising campaign co-chaired by poet and novelist Maya Angelou, a close friend of Winfrey, and former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan.
Angelou, who sits on the school’s board of trustees, and gospel singer Shirley Caesar, a native of Durham, also attended the gala.
Winfrey said she limits her speaking engagements to events that “really matter” and decided to visit the central North Carolina school because, “Bennett really matters.”
“It is important that this institution continues to thrive,” Winfrey said, “and offer opportunities for women in this country and around the world.”
She spoke about the importance of education, touting the college’s renewal, and about the leadership academy she founded for girls in South Africa.
The gala was part of college president Johnnetta Cole’s plans to leave office after five years with the school on a firm financial footing.
Bennett was running a $2 million budget deficit and was on academic probation when Cole, the former president of Atlanta’s Spelman College, took over in 2002.
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“true role models”
I am frankly intrigued by Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and many other black female advocates and their spirits of giving back to the community particularly their Hearts of Gold. I personally call them “Change Agents” for their exemplary and extraordinary work of building lives and communities in America and around the world. These leaders are shining examples of not only givers but gracious little angels to the many lives they have enriched.
These gracious women are the true “Role Models” for the world to emulate.
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