Stedman Graham Inspires Students, Faculty At SDSU

Businessman Known For Relationship With Oprah Winfrey Offers Advice To Students

Businessman and author Stedman Graham, who is usually recognized as the man in Oprah Winfrey's life, visited San Diego State University Tuesday to offer his advice to students.

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Graham came to the campus to focus his attention on students, to teach them a thing or two about paving a road to success -- motivational skills that should start well before they graduate from college.

"Today you have to be relevant in the 21st century," said Graham. "Take control of your life and develop an identity for yourself."

Dozens packed into a conference room at SDSU to hear the entrepreneur and speaker talk about what it takes to motivate yourself to become one of the best in whatever you do.

Graham's words have no doubt inspired his long-time love Winfrey. He told 10News that the power couple actually met before she became a household name.

"It's the same for Oprah as it is for anybody else," he added. "If you can visualize who you want to become, if you are focused on your passion, you can build a plan and don't mind working at it. If you build a dream team around that, all of those things are necessary to empower yourself."

It is advice he has repeated to Winfrey in recent months as her network, OWN, has faced tough times.

"Of course, when you are in a relationship with somebody you help each other and try to keep each other going in the right direction," Graham told 10News. "She's been a great inspiration in my life."

Graham was in San Diego to visit with friends and to promote his latest book, "Identity: Your Passport to Success."

It was easy to see students felt that same motivation after hearing him speak.

"Mostly, figure out what your passion is, work hard and go for it," said biology student Christy Milani. "Don't be afraid. Don't let people tell you, 'No, you can't do something.'"

Words today that will stick with these inspired students well past their upcoming graduations.

"Today just confirmed that I need to go forward," said business administration student Tamika Jones. "Today was that push that I needed."

"Stedman is inspirational," said Michael Cunningham, dean of SDSU's College of Business Administration. "Everything he does, he's passionate about it and he has a message to tell and he tells it very, very well."

Graham's presence on the campus of SDSU may become more frequent in the future. Cunningham added the school would like to start a Leadership Institute on the campus, and he hopes to get Graham fully involved.

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