Georgia State University presented an honorary degree to Grammy Award-Winning rapper Ludacris on Wednesday.
A release from Georgia State said the school was not only bestowing the honor on Ludacris, but it was a momentous occasion as the graduating class is the largest in the history of the school.
The actor and rapper is a former student of the school. Born Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, he was given an honorary degree during commencement exercises at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.
According to the school, Ludacris was given the prestigious award for being a cultural and philanthropic icon. He attended Georgia State in the 1990s long before he became an icon in the hip-hop industry.
At the commencement ceremony, he addressed 800 master’s degree recipients while also receiving his own Bachelor of Science in Music Management.
“My time on campus sharpened my skills,” Bridges said. “It gave me confidence that my path was preordained. That I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing.”
“Though I left school I was never gone because this institution had become a part of me,” he said. “It was a part of my fabric and DNA. My heart never strayed far from its steps and my commitment to someday return, and finish, was ever-present.”
The University says that over the years, Ludacris has been an alumnus, and most recently, in 2019, he joined the Creative Media Industries Institute as an artist-in-residence, where he taught students valuable lessons on the music and film industries and shared his wealth of experience.
Part of his legacy at the school also includes participation in a College of Law series.
“My pledge is to continue my support of the university and to live up to its standards,” the rapper promised. “Hopefully, I will continue to make you proud and be an example of Georgia State’s determination and resilience.”
Georgia State President M. Brian Blake also highlighted the rapper’s illustrious career before receiving the award.
“Today’s honoree began his college journey at Georgia State in the 1990s, before landing a record contract that catapulted him to international fame and stardom,” Blake said. “Today, that dream of a college degree is finally being realized by a media mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Chris came back to campus to reconnect with Georgia State students in 2019 and we are grateful that he has given his time and opened his heart to our students.”
Meanwhile, a statement from the school said that this year’s graduation activities will see close to 5,300 students receiving associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees.