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October 03, 2019

OWN Creator Oprah Winfrey Donates $1.15 Million at a UNCF Event to Help More Students Attend HBCUs

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Oprah Winfrey shocked attendees at a recent fundraiser after announcing a donation of $1.15 million to help more minority students attend Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs).

Winfrey, 65, was a speaker at the 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon where she made the promise.

Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California on Jan. 7, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images

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In a Twitter video, event organizers -- the United Negro College Fund -- captured the moment Winfrey announced her donation and the impact it had on the crowd.

Winfrey was recently diagnosed with pneumonia and encouraged everyone to get flu shots.

Two excited women got up on stage to hug the media mogul, and one did it so hard that Winfrey’s hat fell off.

Oprah Winfrey at the Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on Feb. 22, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

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The clip was captioned:

"Boom! The awesomeness that is @oprah just matched the  $1million dollars that was raised during the #UNCFCharlotte Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon. Yes, so now over $2million was raised to support #HBCUs this afternoon!"

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According to The Charlotte Observer, Winfrey had initially asked the audience how much had been raised.

"We do want to make this the world record-breaking event," she reportedly added to the audience which consisted of mostly women, per the outlet.

Oprah Winfrey at The Robin Hood Foundation's 2018 benefit in New York City on May 14, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images

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While the UNCF's original goal had been to raise $1 million toward scholarships for deserving area students to attend HBCUs, a running tally revealed that $1.15 million had been raised.

Winfrey then made it known that she would match the amount, bringing the total donation to $2.3 million. The crowd went wild as attendees jumped to their feet, and applause broke out throughout the room.

"I believe in the power of education," Winfrey had said at the end of her speech. "There is nothing better than to open the door for someone."

Oprah Winfrey at The University of Johannesburg on Nov. 29, 2018 | Photo: Getty Images

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Winfrey’s commitment to education has long been established. In 2007, she founded the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. The school provides world-class educational resources to marginalized girls in the African nation.

OWLAG graduates have gone on to attend colleges and universities across the globe, including Charlotte’s Johnson Smith University.

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Winfrey's generous donation at the UNCF fundraiser comes days after she revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that she was recently diagnosed with pneumonia and encouraged everyone to get flu shots.

"Don’t play with it; get your flu shots. Get your pneumonia shots. It’s nothing to play with. It takes people out," the media mogul charged viewers after narrating her unplanned trip to the ER.

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