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’Frozen’ director urges grads to end self-doubt

FILE - In a Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Chris Buck, from left, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho  pose in the press room with the award for Best animated feature film of the year for "Frozen" during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles. On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Lee, speaking at the University of New Hampshire commencement, encouraged University of New Hampshire graduates to do away with self-doubt. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In a Sunday, March 2, 2014 file photo, Chris Buck, from left, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho pose in the press room with the award for Best animated feature film of the year for "Frozen" during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles. On Saturday, May 17, 2014, Lee, speaking at the University of New Hampshire commencement, encouraged University of New Hampshire graduates to do away with self-doubt. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The screenwriter and director of the Disney film Frozen spoke at her alma mater yesterday, encouraging University of New Hampshire graduates to do away with self-doubt.

“When you are free from self-doubt, you fail better,” said Jennifer Lee, a 1992 UNH graduate. “You accept criticism and listen.”

Lee was the first woman to direct an animated feature film for Walt Disney Animation Studios. In March, she took home the Oscar for best animated feature.

She spoke at the university’s 144th commencement in Durham. More than 2,200 undergraduates and 488 graduate students received degrees.

“If the first draft of Frozen was the one we made, it wouldn’t be Frozen, and I wouldn’t be standing here, for sure,” she said.

Lee spoke fondly of her time at UNH, including living in Stoke Hall and taking a course called “Foods and Dudes.” She also recalled a dear friend whose untimely death her junior year inspired her to pursue a life in New York City, where she earned a master’s degree in film from Columbia University.

Many other colleges and universities across New Hampshire also held commencement ceremonies yesterday, including Antioch University New England, Franklin Pierce University, Great Bay Community College, Lakes Region Community College, Nashua Community College, New England College, Plymouth State University and Saint Anselm College.

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