- Associated Press - Saturday, May 17, 2014

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - The screenwriter and director of the Disney film “Frozen” spoke at her alma mater Saturday, 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 an 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 Stokes 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 Saturday, 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.