NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Music superstar Missy Elliott “rained” down pearls of wisdom to graduates Saturday in her commencement address at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia.
In an approximately 10-minute address to the December graduates made without notes, Elliott, a Virginia native, told graduates to make sure the friends they hang with “match your energy” and to pursue their goals.
She said they had much to be proud of.
“I am proud of y’all and y’all should be proud of y’all self,” Elliott said. “Now I want y’all to look at each other and say: ‘You already won,'” Elliott said. “Let ’em know. There ain’t no winning. You already won. Y’all could have been doing anything else these last few years. Y’all could have been wildin’ out, but y’all decided to finish the course, and that’s major.”
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The Grammy-winning Elliott, whose hits include “Get Ur Freak On” and “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree, and she awarded the university $20,000.
She called on the graduates to claim their success and strength while keeping the faith, their drive and to be confident.
“Just keep going,” Elliott said. “You are all beautiful.”
She told graduates that it was a blessing for her to be there, and told the graduates that “quitting is not an option.”
Elliott recalled that she used to play music in the car on the Norfolk State campus “and I didn’t go here.”
And now, with her honorary doctorate degree, you can call Elliott, who had a street named after her in October, something else: Dr. Missy Elliott.