In 1990, Sean Combs dropped out of Howard University to intern at Uptown Records. Now, he simply goes by Diddy and he’s one of the biggest media moguls in the world, however that choice he made 24 years ago is catching up with him.
According to reports, a handful of students are upset with the university’s decision to name Diddy — a dropout — as their 2014 commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient. “Can someone explain why Diddy, a person who never graduated from Howard, is speaking at graduation,” one scholar asked on Twitter. Another wrote, “Diddy is gonna make the commencement speech at Howard but what is he gonna say. ‘Well I dropped outta here & got rich but good luck.’”
Despite the backlash, the HBCU has no plans to change their speaker. “In selecting the individuals who will be awarded honorary degrees, Howard University continues the tradition of identifying leaders whose work has clearly contributed to the advancement of their fields and the world. We are honored to have Mr. Combs serve as our speaker,” a rep for the school explained. “He sat in classrooms where our students sit, walked ‘The Yard,’ and like many students, his entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at Howard. We know he will inspire our class to work hard and to always strive for excellence.”
The entertainer and entrepreneur ignored the critics and took to his Instagram account to gush about the opportunity. “For one of the first times in my life I am truly speechless,” Diddy wrote. “There are no words to describe the feeling I had when I heard the news that @HowardU was presenting me with an Honorary Doctorate degree and inviting me to give the keynote commencement address on May 10th. @howardU I’m coming home! Thank you to @WFrederickMD, the Howard University Board of Trustees and all of the students of Howard University #TurnUp #Bison4Life”
Previous HU commencement speakers include Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Maya Angelou. Tell us your thoughts in the comment section, below.