Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliott first became Dr. Elliott in May 2019 when she was received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music, alongside Justin Timberlake and Alex Lacamoire. The Virginia-bred icon has now been awarded her second honorary degree, this time from Norfolk State University.
Elliott issued the Class of 2022’s fall commencement speech on Saturday (Dec. 10). The Virginian-Pilot reported that Elliott stated, “I’m looking around and I see innovators, visionaries, leaders created in here. 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.”
She also told the graduates, “I am proud of y’all, and y’all should be proud of yourself. 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.”
Later in the ceremony, President Javaune Adams-Gaston presented Elliott with the Presidential Commencement Medallion, the university’s “most prestigious award.” Additionally, the Supa Dupa Fly icon received an honorary doctorate in humane letters to recognize her “outstanding professional achievements and extraordinary contributions to public service.”
In turn, Elliott made a $20,000 donation to help “the area of greatest needs,” as confirmed by a university spokesperson.