Sean ‘Puff Daddy‘ Combs has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Howard University.
The hip-hop mogul attended a ceremony at the Washington DC college on May 10 to collect his accolade, and delivered an address to the gathered students that began: “Ain’t no homecoming like a Howard homecoming.”
As Billboard reports, Combs, later known as Puffy, Puff Daddy and P Diddy, had attended Howard as a business major for two years before dropping out in 1990. He spoke to the crowd of new graduates about the impact his time at the university had on him.
“Howard University didn’t just change my life – it entered my soul, my heart, my being and my spirit,” he said, while receiving his honorary degree in humanities. “Nobody is going to invite you to the front of the line, you got to push your way to the front of the line.”
As well as Combs, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, surgeon Clive Callender, jazz saxophonist Benny Golson and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi were given doctorates. In a statement, Howard’s interim president Wayne Frederick said: “We are honoured 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.”
Combs, who founded Bad Boy Records among other entrepreneurial endeavours, announced in March, prior to releasing his latest single ‘Big Homie’, that he was going back using the name Puff Daddy.