Janelle Monae receives honorary degree from Dillard University, tells graduates: ‘Choose freedom over fear’

HONOURED: Janelle Monáe

JANELLE MONÁE was presented with an honorary degree at Dillard University yesterday (May 13).

The singer and actress also delivered the commencement speech where she gave graduates her three secrets to life.

“No. 1, the importance of being gracious. No. 2, the importance of being proud. No. 3, the importance of choosing freedom over fear,” she said.

It was the singer and actor’s first commencement speech, she said afterwards.

Though Janelle played a groundbreaking NASA physicist in the movie Hidden Figures, she was quick to remind the audience she did not graduate from college. She compared herself to Bill Gates before his fame, saying, “I would go to school most times with bags under my eyes,” after staying up late writing music.

“I never thought that I would see the day … when I would be getting an honorary degree,” she said.


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