Despite never graduating Howard University, Diddy has been tapped to deliver the 2014 commencement speech at his alma mater this spring, an honor that has sparked a social media debate.
Howard announced on Tuesday that Diddy was chosen to speak before more than 1,800 students after he receives an honorary doctorate in humanities at the convocation. However, since Diddy dropped out of college, many have said he shouldn’t be allowed to participate.
One Twitter user wrote, “Can someone explain why Diddy, a person who never graduated from Howard, is speaking at graduation?” Another commented, “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.'”
Some fans pointed out that Diddy’s accomplishments make him an excellent candidate. “Strange to see so many people displeased w/ Diddy being HU’s commencement speaker. Too caught up in his lack of degree to note his successes,” wrote one fan, while another added, “To everyone who believes Diddy shouldn’t be speaking, you’ve bought into the lie that college equals success.”
So why was Diddy chosen? University President Wayne A.I. Frederick explained in a statement, “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. 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.”
Howard University’s 146th commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 10.
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