*A central South African university known for tense race relations is welcoming a visit by Oprah Winfrey as an acknowledgment of the progress it has made toward tolerance, reports the AP.
Today, Winfrey is scheduled to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of the Free State, bringing international media to normally quiet Bloemfontein, the farming center where the century-old university is based.
In 2006, four white Free State students made a video humiliating black cleaning women and expressing opposition to integrating the historically white school. Jonathan Jansen, who in 2009 became the university’s first black rector, has been credited with pushing for change.
Nadipha Jacobs, a black student, says the university is slowly becoming more tolerant, and that the visit from the world’s most recognizable black businesswoman shows that.
“In many ways, I feel the university and its people have grown,” said Jacobs, who started as an undergraduate in 1996 and now is a graduate student specializing in development studies.
Winfrey is scheduled to give a speech and take questions from students today.