Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page received an honorary doctoral degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston on Saturday, while in Washington, D.C., rapper Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs was awarded an honorary doctorate at Howard University. Both men gave the commencement speeches at the respective schools honoring them.
Page was so moved by a performance of his songs by students the previous evening that he tossed out his planned address when he stood before the school’s nearly 900 graduates. “I’ve got something here which could be reasonably called a speech,” said Page, 70, laughing. “After the experience of listening to the concert last night, this speech is rendered useless. So here I am; I’m a sort of busking musician trying to busk my speech!”
Combs stood before graduates at the university he attended for two years as a business major (he dropped out in 1990). “Ain’t no homecoming like a Howard homecoming,” he told the crowd. “Howard University didn’t just change my life — it entered my soul, my heart, my being, and my spirit. Nobody is going to invite you to the front of the line, you got to push your way to the front of the line.”