MLIVE: Tererai Trent, WMU grad and favorite guest of Oprah, will speak on campus this month


KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University alumna (and Oprah's favorite guest ) Tererai Trent will be on her alma mater's campus Jan. 25 while in town for a Southwest Michigan First event.

Trent will speak at noon in room 210 of the Bernhard Center. Her talk is titled "What Does it Take for an Outsider to Evaluate in Cross Cultural Contexts?"

The event is free.

Trent was born in Zimbabwe. She was married at 11 and had three children by 18. After meeting representatives at Heifer International, she moved to the United States in the late 1990s to go to college.

Her story was featured in the book "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, published in 2009. Months after the publication, she was profiled on

"The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In May 2010, Winfrey named Trent her all-time favorite guest. Winfrey donated $1.5 million to Trent's school in northern Zimbabwe.

Later on Jan 25, Trent will give a lecture at Southwest Michigan First's 2012 Catalyst University.

Trent earned her doctoral degree in 2009 through WMU's interdisciplinary evaluation program. Her thesis looked at HIV/AIDS prevention programs for women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa.

By, Fritz Klug -- a government and taxes reporter for the Kalamazoo Gazette. Contact him at or 269-388-2733. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.