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Barbara Walters gives her archives to New York's Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater

barabra walters closeup reuters.jpg

May 14, 2014. Journalist Barbara Walters arrives for "A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception" in New York. (Reuters)

Barbara Walters is giving a trove of tapes, papers and photos from her five decades in journalism to Sarah Lawrence College, her alma mater.

Walters made the announcement in a surprise appearance at the suburban New York college's commencement Friday. The Journal News says she told the graduates that her career benefited from going to what she called "a college where I was not afraid to ask questions."

College President Karen Lawrence says in a statement that the school is thrilled by the gift. Walters retired from daily television this month. Her final episode of "The View" aired May 16. She remains an executive producer of the show.

CNN host Fareed Zakaria gave Friday's commencement address, joking that Walters' surprise was a tough act to follow.

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