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Just call her Dr. Winfrey! Oprah Winfrey was on hand to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of the Free State in South Africa on Friday.
The daytime TV icon spoke to the students of the school where, five years ago, four white students made a video humiliating black housekeeping staff. In the clip, the housekeepers were shown eating a stew the students had mimed spiking with urine.
When Winfrey took the stage to receive her degree, she called the five cleaners up to join her and pronounced them heroes.
"What has happened here at Free State in terms of racial reconciliation, of peace, of harmony, of one heart understanding and opening itself to another heart is nothing short of a miracle," she said. "It is truly what the new South Africa is all about."
Winfrey shed tears as she accepted her degree in front of a roaring crowd of hundreds. The citation accompanying her honor (which was the 152nd honorary degree given out by the university) said Winfrey "has truly become a South African. She did so because she believed that there was important work to be done here, and she wanted to be part of what Nelson Mandela and others had begun."
Previous recipients of Free State honorary degrees include Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.