Oprah Winfrey headlines USC Annenberg’s 2018 commencement ceremony

Oprah Winfrey, a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, will deliver the keynote address at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s 2018 commencement ceremony on May 11.

For the first time, the entire USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will celebrate commencement together and honor approximately 900 candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. 

“At this moment when communication — both the field and its disciplines — are at the heart of our culture, commerce and politics like never before, Oprah Winfrey is the ideal role model to address our graduates,” said Dean Willow Bay. “I know hearing from one of the most powerful voices in America today will be an incredibly memorable and inspiring moment for our graduates, their families and guests. I am deeply grateful to her for sharing this special day with us.”

Having created an unparalleled connection with people around the world, Winfrey’s accomplishments have established her as one of the most respected and admired figures today. Winfrey was host of the award-winning talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show for 25 years and currently serves as Chairman and CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the founder of O, The Oprah Magazine and oversees Harpo Films. 

Winfrey is an Academy Award-nominated actress for her role in The Color Purple and was a producer and actress in the Academy Award-winning film Selma. Winfrey starred in the Emmy Award-nominated HBO film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and most recently portrayed “Mrs. Which” in Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time film adaptation by director Ava DuVernay.

In 2007, Winfrey established the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa to provide education for academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.

In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

USC Annenberg’s past speakers have included former First Lady of California and journalist Maria Shriver, television pioneer Norman Lear, chairman and CEO of BET Networks Debra L. Lee, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, broadcasting executive Carole Black, film star and activist Geena Davis, and anchor for Univision and Fusion Jorge Ramos.

USC Annenberg’s commencement ceremony will follow the main USC commencement ceremony, presided over by USC President C.L. Max Nikias, at 8:30 am in Alumni Park.