Oprah Winfrey advised graduates at Skidmore College to follow their "inner truth" and live a spiritual life during a commencement speech Saturday in upstate New York.

The author, actress and former talk show host spoke at the graduation in Saratoga Springs, where one of the more than 600 members of the Class of 2017 included a student who had attended her Leadership Academy.

The media mogul opened the academy in 2007 for poor girls in South Africa.

Winfrey is speaking at another commencement Sunday at Smith College, a women's liberal arts school in Northampton, Massachusetts. Another one of her Leadership Academy alumna will be receiving a degree there.

After receiving an honorary doctorate of letters in the arts from the private liberal arts college during the ceremony held at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Winfrey lectured graduates on some of the secrets to her success.

"I have been so blessed to live inside the dream of God," she said, noting that she has learned to follow her "inner truth" in career decisions going back more than three decades.

"It's a big, bad world out there," she advised, but encouraged the graduates by adding: "There is nothing more powerful than you using your personality to serve the calling of yourself."