Howard University’s decision to have entertainment mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs deliver this year’s graduating class commencement speech is causing many people cry foul.
The debate began raging as soon as Howard, located in Washington, DC, made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter.
Combs, who will also receive an honorary degree from the university alongside CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, attended the historically black university for two years before dropping out in 1990.
Instead of finishing college, he went on to intern at New York’s Uptown Records and then founded Bad Boy Records as a joint venture with Arista Records in 1993. In addition to his own recording career, Combs signed Notorious B.I.G., Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Lil’ Kim, TLC, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, SWV and Aretha Franklin, among others.
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But, those accomplishments don’t seem to matter to critics of the university’s decision, who are upset that Diddy never graduated from college. Current Howard student Darien Carter tweeted his displeasure with the decision:
On the other hand, Vibe editor Stacy-Ann Ellis wrote:
In previous years, Howard’s commencement speakers have included former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Citigroup and Time Warner chairman Richard D. Parsons, “PBS NewsHour’s” Gwen Ifill, Gen. Colin Powell and Maya Angelou.
See below for more of the debate over the decision to have P. Diddy deliver this year’s commencement: