Next month, Dillard University (my alma mater) will hold its 82nd commencement on the historic Avenue of the Oaks. Speaking to more than 200 graduates will be none other than Grammy award-winning artist, Chance The Rapper.
Chance is more than a rapper; He’s an activist, a game-changer, and even an unashamed Christian. Unsigned to a record label, Chance managed to break down barriers in hip-hop’s conventional industry and rise to success. While doing that, his third mixtape, Coloring Book, became the first streaming-only album to be nominated and win a Grammy. With that being said, Chance is the perfect person to deliver this year’s commencement address.
President of Dillard University, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough, also teaches a class on ethics and hip-hop, and has been wanting Chance to visit DU for a couple of years. The “Hip-Hop Prez,” as students call him, was finally able to announce Chance as this year’s commencement speaker in the video below.
“I thought he made for a great commencement speaker because of his spirit of being entrepreneurial and authentic. But his civic engagement, including encouraging people to vote and willingness to speak out on issues, like his recent opposition to a Heineken ad, are just as paramount,” said Dr. Kimbrough, explaining why he selected Chance as the speaker.
I must say, this year’s graduating class is lucky as hell to have Chance as their speaker. When I graduated from Dillard University in 2007, Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the commencement address. Now, don’t get me wrong; To have been given words and thought-provoking advice by a woman who would soon run for presidency was an honor. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little envious that this year’s graduating class will get a word from one of the most popular artists of our time.
Chance The Rapper, along with the 2018 graduating class of DU, will be walking down the historic Avenue of the Oaks on Saturday, May 12 @ 8 a.m.