Howard Students Unhappy with Sean Combs as School’s Commencement Speaker (UPDATE)By Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Howard University students are protesting against the school's choice of commencement speaker for this year.
Rapper and entrepreneur Sean Combs was chosen to deliver the 146th commencement speech to the class of 2014, May 10. The 44-year-old hip-hop singer and music mogul is also slated to receive an honorary doctorate in humanities for establishing his own business and brand.
Combs quit studies at the University in 1990 to pursue his musical dreams. Certain students are upset with the choice of the speaker as they are not sure what Diddy is going to speak about during the upcoming convocation ceremony. Opponents said that the honor should be conferred on a college graduate and not on a drop out.
"Can someone explain why Diddy, a person who never graduated from Howard, is speaking at graduation?" D. Gregory Carter, one Twitter user, said. Another user, Alex Newell, said, "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.'"
On the other hand, Senior Jasmine Dailey said that although Diddy did not complete his education, he worked to become a successful musician, producer, and entrepreneur. "And i feel he upholds our principles," abc 7 reports.
Junior Christopher Hocutt said that there are a lot of computer science students who didn't graduate but are currently earning billions of dollars. Student Albert Ellis feels that negative stereotypes are associated with Diddy because of his color.
"Apple founder Steve Jobs dropped out of college. If he were alive, could he speak at @HowardU instead of @iamdiddy? #NewsOneNow," Rolands Martin, host/managing editor of "TV One", said. Another user, Reggie Baker, program director WPZZ and WTPS, said, "Diddy can make the speech, he is a success story he can offer something to the students,"
Despite mixed reactions, Howard University has not decided to replace Combs as commencement speaker.
While making the announcement about the speaker, Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick said 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."
Past Howard graduation speakers include Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Maya Angelou among others.