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Presidents, archbishops, comedians and other luminaries have appeared at the University at Buffalo over the years to discuss public policy and world affairs, but Donald Trump gave a different sort of speech Thursday night.

The billionaire developer was colorful, colloquial, vulgar at times, funny and opinionated as he told students how to succeed in business and life.

"Think big."

"Always have a prenuptial agreement."

"Get even. When somebody screws you, screw them back."

The real estate magnate and reality-television star drew laughs with his candor as he talked about his rise and fall and rise again in the business world and two expensive divorces. He also said that Buffalo seems to be headed in the right direction and that he would consider investing in this area.

He received UB's largest speaking fee -- $200,000, raised through ticket sales and sponsorships -- and vows to donate the fee to charity. Officials expected that about 1,000 tickets would go unsold.

Trump was the student choice speaker for the UB series, which attracted 6,000 people to the Alumni Arena on the North Campus. And he said he wanted to give the young people in the audience pieces of wisdom that he's applied in his own life.

Throughout his 30-minute speech, Trump talked about how he has the highest-rated reality TV show -- NBC's "The Apprentice" -- how he dates the most beautiful women and how he builds the best and tallest buildings in New York City.

"All my life, I've been successful. Then, in 1990, in the truest sense of the word, the you-know-what hit the fan," he said.

In the early '90s, he was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and saw no end in sight to his losses.

How did he turn it around?

Hard work. Fighting through adversity. Staying focused.

This was the first of the run-of-the-mill advice Trump gave.

He quickly turned to more colorful advice, some of which students aren't likely to use, such as prenuptial agreements.

"Did anybody ever hear of Marla (Maples, his second ex-wife)? Ay-yi-yi, did she cost me a fortune," Trump said to laughter.

He also urged students to be paranoid. "The world is a vicious place. People are after you," Trump said.

He said students should look to pay back someone who's done them wrong 10 times worse. "Do it for me. Think about me when you're doing it," he said.

Trump went through the entire speech and the first seven questions without using the catch phrase from "The Apprentice" -- "You're fired."

He seemed to be engaged by the audience questions, chiding someone who asked what he considered a boring query and praising good questions.

In response to another question, he called the war in Iraq a "disaster." In a brief commentary on foreign affairs, Trump said North Korea and Iran are bigger threats than Iraq was, and he wondered why Osama bin Laden remains at large.

"How is it that Martha Stewart is in jail and Osama bin Laden is free?" he said to laughter.

e-mail: swatson@buffnews.com