In addition to multi-award-winning rapper, producer, singer and songwriter, we can also call Missy Elliott “Doctor Elliott”—for the second time—from now on!
And that’s because over the weekend, the “Cool Off” rapper received the prestigious Presidential Commencement Medallion and a second honorary doctorate degree from Norfolk State University, where she delivered the commencement speech for the graduating class of 2022. The honor is only bestowed upon those with “outstanding professional achievements and extraordinary contributions to public service.” (She received her first honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music back in 2019.)
In addition to encouraging students with her words, Missy then followed that up with action by donating $20,000 to the school in the “areas of greatest needs,” according to Billboard.
“Two time Doctorate ‘Dr. Elliott’ I am so Grateful,” she wrote in a tweet sharing the news over the weekend. “Thank you @Norfolkstate for having me today. To the Class Of 2022 May your Journey be Successful/ Fearless/ Determined to be the BEST! Behold The Green & Gold!!!! #HBCU”
To the graduating class, she implored them to keep striving for success and applauded the students for working hard to get to this point.
“I am proud of y’all, and y’all should be proud of your self,” she said. “I want you to look at each other and say, ‘You already won.’ Let ’em know! Ain’t no winning, you already the one. ‘Cause y’all coulda been doing anything else the last few years, y’all coulda been wildin’ out, but y’all decided to finish the course. And that’s major.”
She later added, “I want to see these same faces years from now saying … ’I became famous, I became president, I became a lawyer.’ All of those things.”