TULSA, Oklahoma - Oscar and Grammy award winning artist Common was a special guest speaker at the University of Tulsa Friday night.

The rapper, actor and author spoke to a packed house at the Reynolds Center, encouraging students and others to find their own path and follow it.

"I just wanted people to feel inspired to fulfill their purpose; to know that greatest exists within us all, and for them to reach that greatness on a daily level, on a professional level, on every level as a person," he told News On 6 photographer Desmond Nugent.

He said he had been enjoying a calm stay in Tulsa without the usual hectic pace he encounters on the East and West Coast.

"Tulsa has a diversity to it that I appreciate," he said. "I just think that the people are real cool, so that's something that I got to discover, cause I'd never been to Tulsa."

In his speech, he encouraged Tulsans to learn from the past but not get lost in it - to push past negative relationships to change history in a positive way.

Common won the Academy Award this year for his song Glory from the film Selma. He also starred as Civil Rights leader James Bevel.