Oprah surprises University of Massachusetts with $1.5 million donation

Winfrey received an honorary degree from University of Massachusetts on Thursday.

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)


When Oprah Winfrey agreed to be the special guest at the University of Massachusetts’ Chancellor Speaker Series on Thursday, no one knew she would be making such a huge contribution. She did just that when she surprised the school by matching the $1.5 million the event raised for the UMass Lowell Scholarships.

“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,” she told the crowd 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.”

Oprah opened up about everything from her iconic talk show to her personal beliefs during the 90-minute conversation with Mass Chancellor Jacquie Moloney.

“People still piss me off…II 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,” she said, according to PEOPLE.

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“I have this amazing life. It’s as good as you think it is, and even better. It is. But also, so is yours. 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,” she added.

“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…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 at the event will go to the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship at the university.