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Diddy to Speak at Howard University’s Commencement Ceremony Despite Protest

Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Howard University has tapped their most famous non-graduating alumn Diddy to deliver the 2014 Commencement address on May 10. The rap mogul will also receive an honorary degree from the university, much to the chagrin of critics.

Although Diddy dropped out of the school in 1990, he went on to become a successful businessman in music and fashion. The Bad Boy Records executive is currently No. 1 on Forbes’ 2014 Wealthiest Hip-Hop Artist List. Neverthelss, some critics believe that he doesn’t deserve to speak in front of graduates.

Current Howard student Darien Carter voiced his displeasure via Twitter writing, “Can someone explain why Diddy, a person who never graduated from Howard, is speaking at graduation?”

Despite the protest, Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick stands by his decision of having Diddy speak at graduation.

“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,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Five individuals will also receive honorary degrees during the ceremony, including CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi.

Reactions to Diddy speaking at the ceremony and accepting an honorary doctrine are mixed. You can read the tweets below.

What are your thoughts on Howard University’s decision to have Diddy deliver this year’s commencement? Tell us in the comments below.



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