Michelle Obama and Bow Wow tour Howard University

First Lady MichelleObama and Bow Wow co host on the television show 106 & Park along with juniors and senior high school students from Chicago tour the Howard University dorms in Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2014. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

On Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama and rapper-slash-actor Bow Wow joined 37 students from Chicago public high schools for a tour of Howard University, our colleague Krissah Thompson reports. According to the first lady’s office, Obama specifically requested Bow Wow for the event, an annual college visit called “Escape to the Mecca” — a nod to the university’s nickname “the mecca.”

“This isn’t bad,” Obama said as she stepped inside a dorm room in Frazier Hall where one enterprising student had the perfect product placement on her desk: a portfolio and résumé. During the sneak peek, Obama encouraged the visiting students to step in and look around too. “You might be living here. I’m just visiting,” she said.

As Obama made her way through Howard’s famous quad, posing for photos with the Chicago group, female Howard students inside the dorms shouted greetings through open windows. “Hi Michelle!!!” several young women screamed, prompting more fans of the first lady to also shout hello. “Michelllllle! First lady! We love you.”

Later that afternoon at a roundtable discussion led by Bow Wow, the rapper recalled his first time voting, casting his ballot for Barack Obama.

“I remember him saying how much they needed us, the youth. It’s us that’s going to shape this world and turn it around,” said Bow Wow. “Maybe the next president is right here in this room.”

The first lady said she was “very fond” of Bow Wow, whom she met during a 2013 appearance on BET’s “106th and Park,” the hip-hop talk show he co-hosts. She praised his commitment to education and encouraged the students to pursue higher education. “No longer is high school the bar. That is not enough in today’s globalizing economy.”

One high school student said she planned to pay her enrollment fee for Howard that very day, adding “this has been the most phenomenal day of my life.”

More from the Reliable Source:

Chelsea’s baby news: All the times Bill and Hillary have hinted

Actress Susan Sarandon dines out with her mother in Reston

PJ Harvey’s under-the-radar visit to D.C.

Even more sightings, surreal estate, BOLO and Love, etc: Sign up for The Reliable Source newsletter. And follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Helena Andrews is the co-author of The Reliable Source. Follow her on Twitter @helena_andrews, and send your hot tips, sightings, and gossip to reliablesource@washpost.com.
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