Sean ‘P-Diddy/Puffy/Puff Daddy/Diddy’ Combs is slated to give a commencement speech at Howard University in May for the graduating class of 2014. There has been some debate as to whether he should give the speech, given that Combs is a college dropout, never finishing his degree at his alma mater, which happens to be Howard University. Even though Mr.Combs did not finish his degree, Howard is awarding him, along with Wolf Blitzer and a few others, an honorary degree.
After some thought, I don’t really see the big deal with Combs giving a speech even though he did not graduate. The purpose of a graduation speech is to motivate the graduating class before they go out into the real world. Whether the speaker graduated or not is beside the point; the message still permeates. Diddy has transformed himself into a multi-million dollar mogul and is one of the most successful rappers ever, not because of his record sales but because of all of his successful ventures. His business acumen is unmatched; if there were anyone fit to give a speech to motivate others, Diddy would be it.
Not to throw the race card in but it’s ironic because I never heard any complaints when college dropouts Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and even Steve Jobs would give commencement speeches at colleges all across the country…but of course when “gangsta rapper” Diddy is the one giving the speech, the tune seems to somehow change. I think it’s dope that Combs can come back to the school he dropped out of 20 years later and be awarded an honorary degree. He didn’t take the traditional route but he still made something of himself. Regardless of where your path has led you, you should feel proud of your accomplishments. Graduating college is an amazing feat…but unfortunately the job market these days is less than ideal. Recent graduates could use all the motivation they can get and whether it comes from a dropout-turned rapper-turned mogul or a successful professor is irrelevant.
What do you think?
Is Diddy the wrong one to give a commencement speech?