By Katie Brace

BOSTON (CBS) – “I Love Lowell,” yelled Oprah.

Oprah Winfrey spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Tsongas Arena as part of UMass Lowell’s Chancellor Speaker Series.

“Me being here is a tool of service to raise money for scholarships,” said Oprah. “I thought that’s worth firing up the jet for.”

All the money raised goes toward the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship at the university. This year’s six recipients include Stecie Norceid who studies computer engineering. She personally talked with Oprah.

“She’s likes a mom, so when you meet her you are just so comfortable,” said Norceid.

Oprah Winfrey at Tsongas Center (WBZ-TV)

She plans to become a professor and help her native country.

“Go back to Haiti and use what I learn help the country develop technology,” said Norceid.

She was one of the thousands in the audience who Oprah inspired for an hour and half.

“How can I use this to be of service, you literally change your vibration, you change your opportunity,” said Oprah.

The event raised $1.5 million for the ongoing Oprah Winfrey scholarship. In true Oprah fashion, she matched that with another $1.5 million dollars.

Oprah does have a connection to the university. Professor Andre Dubus had a book selected for Oprah’s Book Club. In 2000, he went on her show to talk about “House of Sand and Fog.”

Out of the around 70 authors Oprah had on her show, Dubus was one of the few who sent a thank you. The heartfelt content and fact he sent that note had a lasting impact on Oprah.


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