Skip to content

Oprah attends the graduation of her long lost sister Patricia Lee

MILWAUKEE – On Sunday, students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee got the surprise of their lives that made their special dayeven more momentous. One of the most famous, admired and richest women in the world graced their graduation – none other than Oprah Winfrey.

But Oprah, who attended with longtime life partner Steadman Graham, was not there to provide the commencement speech, nor did she have a big event in southern Wisconsin or even nearby Chicago, the place that birthed her career. She came to celebrate the graduation of a recently discovered relative, half-sister Patricia Lee.

The media mogul tried futilely to arrive incognito, but of course failed. After the graduation commencement transformed into pandemonium, she was able to congratulate her sister. 

Oprah captioned the above photo: “My sister Pat who discovered she was a part of our family 6 years ago, had 1 big dream when I met her. To go to college and finish strong! Today that dream came true. Congratulations lil Sis. #UWMgrad.”

According to Michelle Johnson, senior director of integrated marketing and communications for UWM, Oprah tried to keep her presence at the graduation ceremony on the low. After all, she wanted the focus on the graduates. To boot, the former queen of talk shows brought her own security to watch the reserved seats for her and her family.

It worked – at first. The multitude did not realize she was there. But slowly, many began to notice the founder of OWN and snapped a few pictures.

It wasn’t long after the ceremony started that the pictures of Oprah at the graduation began to hit the internet. People began freaking out, and students were celebrating. 

Most importantly, congratulations to Patricia Lee for graduating.