/  05.09.2022

Angela Bassett has another doctorate degree under her belt! This time she received her Doctor of Humane Letters from Old Dominion University located in Norfolk, Virginia.

It was a two for one weekend for the legendary actress who also served as a keynote speaker during the university’s commencement ceremony this past Saturday (May 7). She used the moment to touch on the school’s deep ties to royalty given that the ODU mascot is the Monarch – a lion with a crown upon its head.

“Throughout your time at ODU, many of you have proudly looked at the monarch – a royal crown on a lion’s head- as a salute to your school’s rich history, strength, pride, fearlessness, royalty. Thanks to a little film called Black Panther, I think I know a little bit about royalty…well fictional royalty at least,” said Bassett as the crowd chuckled.

She further emphasized the importance of leadership and legacy during her speech.


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“It’s about your leadership and legacy,” said the 63-year-old actress. “That’s the real crown that I want you to wear every day when you step out into the world.”

The latest degree will be added to Basset’s collection which includes an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College located in Atlanta, Georgia. She also holds an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Yale University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in African American studies in 1980 and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama in 1983.

Bassett also encouraged graduates to continue to soar high following their college graduate achievements.

“Monarchs, you didn’t come this far to come this far,” she continued. “You came this far to excel. You came this far to soar to heights that you, your parents, your grandparents, your ancestors sacrificed and prayed for you to reach.”



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