Sean Combs, Howard dropout, to give commencement speech

Sean Combs attends the Superstars For Sandy Relief Event, on thursday, April 4, 2013 in New York, NY. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/Invision/AP)
Sean Combs attends the Superstars For Sandy Relief Event, on thursday, April 4, 2013 in New York, NY. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/Invision/AP)

Sean Combs will finally collect that degree from Howard University — nearly a quarter century after he dropped out of the school to pursue his dreams of music mogul-dom.

Howard announced Tuesday that Diddy will give the commencement speech to the Class of 2014 and get an honorary degree. In a news release, interim Howard President Wayne Frederick finessed the fact that Combs left the university in 1990 after only two years.

“We are honored to have Mr. Combs serve as our speaker,” Frederick said in the statement. “He sat in classrooms where our students sit, walked ‘The Yard,’ and like many students, his entrepreneurial spirit was sparked at Howard.”

Also slated to get honorary degrees at the May 10 event are CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer; Clive Callender, a surgery professor at Howard’s medical school (and the first doctor to perform a transplant at Howard University Hospital); jazz artist Benny Golson; and PepsiCo chairman and chief executive Indra  Nooyi.

The gig puts Combs in high-flying company: past Howard graduation speakers have included Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Maya Angelou.

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Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.
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