It’s Grad SZN and everyone is celebrating their accomplishments, including rapper and actor Dana Owens, better known by her stage name “Queen Latifah”. Queen received an honorary degree on May 14 from Rutgers University. Queen was given the opportunity to give the commencement speech for those graduating in the spring class of 2018 at the university, but it was to her surprise that she received a degree in fine arts.
A Rutgers undergraduate student, Adebimpe Elegbeyele, told reporters “Queen Latifah is inspiring to us as students because she always projects herself through her work as a strong woman.”
Queen is a New Jersey native, where Rutgers University is located and says this degree “holds a special place in her heart.” She continued to give praise to the University as she quoted “This place has shaped me. Whether it’s been your home for four years or 40 years, or something in between, you carry it with you. Just as I have. Long before Living Single and Set It Off and Chicago, it’s a lesson I learned right here at home that made me the person I am.”
Queen Latifah is known for her positive and uplifting music and has been recognized on several platforms. She has received A Grammy, BET awards, Emmy’s, a Humanitarian award, and so many more and she can now add an Honorary Doctorate degree to her list of accolades.
Honorary degrees are given to individuals “as a way of honouring a distinguished visitor's contributions to a specific field or to society in general.” The University commonly waives all requirements to obtain the degree and the individual does not have to be enrolled in the University in order to receive a degree.
Congratulations to Queen Latifah on receiving your degree, as well as all 2018 Graduates!