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updated: 5/30/2013 9:55 PM

Winfrey to Harvard grads: Learn from your failures

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  • Oprah Winfrey speaks during Harvard University's commencement ceremonies Thursday in Cambridge, Mass.

      Oprah Winfrey speaks during Harvard University's commencement ceremonies Thursday in Cambridge, Mass.
    Associated Press

  • Oprah Winfrey walks with Professor Henry Louis Gates in the procession during commencement ceremonies Thursday at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass..

      Oprah Winfrey walks with Professor Henry Louis Gates in the procession during commencement ceremonies Thursday at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass..
    Associated Press

  • Oprah Winfrey tearfully accepted an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University on Thursday.

      Oprah Winfrey tearfully accepted an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University on Thursday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Oprah Winfrey has told graduating students at Harvard University to expect failure at some point in their lives, but she said how they deal with hard times will ultimately define their success.

Winfrey delivered the address Thursday at Harvard's 362nd commencement.

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She said even people who have reached the top often stumble -- referencing the difficulties she initially had in launching her own TV network.

But Winfrey told the graduates that the best way to get out of the hole is by discovering their purpose in life.

Her purpose, she said, was demonstrating that what unites people is more compelling than what divides them.

Speaking at the school where Facebook was invented, Winfrey urged the graduates not to just stay online but to reach out and talk to people, even those with whom they disagree.

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