Sean “Diddy” Combs is joining a long list of entertainers whose names have become synonymous with the support of education with his recently announced one million dollar donation to Howard University’s School of Business to create a scholarship fund that bears his name.
“One of the biggest blessings is getting the chance to one day be able to give back and to support the people that supported you,” Combs said while presenting Howard President Dr. Wayne Fredrick with a giant check during the Washington, D.C. stop on his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour.
Combs,46, attended Howard, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious historically black colleges and universities, in the 1990s before leaving the school after two years to pursue his dreams of becoming a music mogul. Due to his professional accomplishments, he was presented with the Alumni Award for Distinguished Post Graduate Achievement in the fields of entertainment and business in 1999, as well as the Doctor of Humane Letter in 2014.
“I didn’t graduate from Howard,” Combs said at the concert. “I was blessed to get my honorary degree but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Because the only reason why I was able to chase my dreams was the empowerment that Howard gave me, the support that they gave me, the first two years.”
Combs added that first time he stepped on campus was “like heaven. You know heaven… I mean, that’s the best way, it’s so much love. It’s an indescribable place, you have to see it.”
Beginning in the fall of 2017, scholarships using Combs’ funds will be awarded to undergraduate students in Howard’s School of Business. To qualify, students must have a 3.0 GPA and a valid financial need. Scholarship recipients will also receive a mentor from Combs Enterprises, the umbrella organization for several of Combs’ businesses, including Revolt Media and Blue Flame Agency.
“The scholarship fund that Mr. Combs has established at Howard will help provide life-altering opportunities for our students, particularly at a time when many come to Howard struggling to meet ever-increasing financial needs,” Howard President Fredrick said in a statement. “The University is grateful for Mr. Combs’ ongoing efforts to open doors for talented, hard-working individuals and improve their chances of navigating the way to personal and professional fulfillment.”
This isn’t first time Combs has offered funds to his alma mater. In 1999, Combs pledged $500,000 to Howard during a ceremony where he was presented with an alumni award.
Combs’ education philanthropy also extends to the high school level, where he opened the Capital Preparatory Harlem Charter School in his native Harlem in New York City last month.