Oprah Winfrey's Words for Spelman Grads

In her commencement address, she told graduates they "must have some vision" for their lives.

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"It's very moving to me because to be honored at Spelman means that it's welcoming me into the sisterhood which means very much to me," Smith told The Root. "And also, it's welcoming me into that circle of people who commit themselves to both excellence and service."

Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway and her friend, Star Jones, were spotted at the commencement ceremony for her daughter, Ashley Calloway, who received a degree in economics. Filmmaker Robert Townsend also attended the graduation to see his daughter, Sierra T. Townsend, receive a degree in psychology. 

Diallo, founder and president of SisterLove Inc., received an honorary degree for her HIV/AIDS activism. A Spelman class of 1986 graduate, Diallo created the first women's HIV/AIDS nonprofit organization in the Southeast. She also teaches women's health at Morehouse School of Medicine's Masters of Public Health Program in Atlanta.

"It's sort of a full circle of coming home," Diallo said of her honor. "The activism in my life started at Spelman -- and it wasn't always easy -- and now I'm actually being recognized for that. And so, it's tremendous."

Aisha I. Jefferson is a contributor to The Root.

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