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Monday, May 12, 2014
Diddy Pays Tribute To His Mother During Howard University Commencement Speech
“Only this family could take one of its sons, that has already had three name changes, and give him a fourth: Dr. Combs.”
In case you missed it…
On Saturday, Diddy added another accolade to his list of accomplishments as he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from his alma mater, Howard University. Over 15 years ago, Diddy attended the HBCU for two years before dropping out in 1990 to follow his entrepreneurial dreams. Since then, he’s become a humanitarian, launched a number of successful business ventures, topped the Forbes Hip Hop cash kings list, and has been named one of the most influential people in the world by Time and CNN, which makes him more than qualified in real world experience for his honorary doctorate.
As he stepped up to the podium with a huge smile on his face, he began his speech by saying:
Excuse me, throughout my life I have rushed through some of my greatest moments, and I said if I made it to this point, and when I made it to this point, I would take my time, and I would look at each and every one of you. So let me take my time and look at you. Let me realize where I’m at. Let me live in this moment and be present right now. Ain’t no homecoming like a Howard homecoming!
He also paid tribute to his mother, while revealing that she withheld the details of his father’s death from him growing up and it wasn’t until he attended Howard, that he found out the truth:
My world was changed here at Howard. On my second day of school, I learned something that would change the course of my life forever. I don’t talk about this often. I was raised by a single mother in Harlem. My dad Mr. Melvin Combs died when I was three years old. My mother always told me he died in a car accident, but something about that, it just didn’t feel right. Something in my soul was telling me otherwise, so as soon as I got here, I went to the library and did some research. I searched through all the newspapers, and when I typed in my father’s name and the day he died, I read in the Amsterdam News that he had been murdered in a drug deal gone bad.
Right there in that library, I realized that there is nothing greater than a mother’s love and desire to protect her child. Nothing! I also decided that I would live my life in a way that would make her proud. I decided to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of my father but in an honest way. God bless you Melvin Combs, I can feel you right next to me, but in an honest way, a legal way. By earning, scraping, working harder and believing in myself, and making the most of the blessings that God blessed me with. See, I got that work ethic from my mother. My mother worked four jobs to send me to Howard University so I want to take this time to say, ‘Mama I love you so much, I wouldn’t be standing up here if it wasn’t for you and thank you for all of your sacrifices. I love you ma!’
In between using Twitter hashtags, paying compliments to the beautiful Bison women, and reminiscing on old times at Howard U, Diddy also dropped a few gems for graduates such as, “Don’t be afraid to close your eyes and dream, but then open your eyes and see,” and “Nobody is going to take you to the front of the line — you need to push to the front of the line.”
A large number of celebs came out to support, including Bow Wow, Lance Gross, Jermaine Dupri, French Montana, Michael B. Jordan, Mary J. Blige, Nas and Will.i.Am.
Catch a few photos and video of Diddy’s entire speech below: