Over the weekend the 2014 graduating class of Howard University walked across the stage and no other than former HU student, Diddy, delivered the commencement speech. Despite the controversy that surrounded him delivering the speech because he dropped out of the school, he took the stage to see the students off to the next stage of their life. Diddy told the crowd that although he didn’t graduate, enrolling in Howard University more than 25 years ago changed his life. He told the students about his struggles in the beginning of his career because of his lack of a degree, his rise to success and how they should always remember the amount of power they have. At one point he started singing “I thought I told you that we won’t stop” and the graduating class sung along with him and he even said “Take That, Take That” a couple of times. Critiques of the speech included that it was “unstructured,” “long” and all about him, but others found it “inspiring” and “funny”.
Diddy also shared a personal story about his father’s passing during the speech, “On my second day of school I learned something that would change the course of my life forever,” Puff said. “I don’t talk about this often. I was raised by a single mother in Harlem. My dad, Mr. Melvin Combs died when I was three-years-old. My mother always told me that he died in a car accident. But something about that it just didn’t feel right. Something was in my soul that was telling me otherwise. So, as soon as I got here I went to the library and I did some research. I used the microfilm at Founders [Library] to search through all the newspapers. And when I typed in my father’s name and the day he died, I read in the Amsterdam News that he had been murdered in a drug deal gone bad. Right there in that library I realized there’s nothing greater than a mother’s love and desire to protect her child.”
In addition to giving the commencement address he also received an honorary doctorate degree. Watch it below.