Iconic actress Whoopi Goldberg may not have finished high school, said David Boardman, new dean of Temple University's School of Media and Communication, "but she went to Temple today."
Goldberg, who is one of the few artists to have won Oscar, Grammy, Tony and Emmy awards, was on campus Thursday to receive the Lew Klein Excellence in Media Award, whose previous recipients include Anderson Cooper, Robin Roberts and Matt Lauer.
After the ceremony, Goldberg spoke to students and took questions for 45 minutes as she delivered a lecture stand-up comedy style, roaming the stage. She admitted to being a little nervous since she had never sat where the students were, but maybe she could give them advice on what to avoid. She probably made the administration a little nervous when started out by saying “Know your s—.”
Often poking fun at herself, Goldberg delivered a message meant to instill confidence in the students.
“No one would ever imagine that I would become an actress,” she said. "Look at me. But my mother knew. Even at birth, I was looking for the light.”
Despite her immense talent, she attributed her stardom to sheer luck, not even being in the right place at the right time. “If director Mike Nichols, who brought my first show to Broadway, had a headache the day he saw my comedy routine, I might not be here today.”
In general, she was positive about technology, something prevalent in their lives today. “How I would have loved to post directly on YouTube and not deal with studio. This is the golden age for artists.”
Goldberg did issue one warning about technology: “Keep some things private. Not everything is meant to be shared. I know some people became famous with a sex tape, but now the bar is higher. No one needs to see you have sex with 15 people. It will live in on the internet forever.”
The late broadcaster, E. Steven Collins, was given an award in memoriam.
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