Today (Oct. 20), Sean “Diddy” Combs returned to his alma mater, Howard University, to make good on a $1 million pledge. The music mogul presented the check to Dr. Ben Vinson III, president of Howard University, during the school’s annual Yardfest event.
In addition to the donation, Combs gave a surprise performance that consisted of a medley of hits that included “It’s All About the Benjamins,” “I Need a Girl (Pt. 1),” and “Act Bad,” as well as tracks from his brand-new R&B masterpiece, The Love Album: Off the Grid, with the assistance of Kalan.FrFr and Love Records’ own Jozzy, both of whom appear on the No. 1 project.
“As someone who attended Howard University and values the transformative experience of historically Black colleges, it remains crucial that we strive to protect and uphold their legacy,” Combs stated.
“This donation to Howard is not just a financial contribution; it’s also a reaffirmation of our commitment to a cultural institution that has touched countless lives. It’s about ensuring that HBCUs continue to receive the support they rightfully deserve.”
Dr. Vinson added, “This is such a tremendously meaningful gift to Howard University, and we are deeply grateful. Since his days here as a student, Sean Combs has always credited Howard for helping him become the groundbreaking entertainer and entrepreneur that he has become. His gift will have a profound impact on our students, paving the way for future leaders.”
This contribution follows a series of philanthropic activities by Combs this year. Just a few short months ago, he announced a $1 million investment fund at Atlanta’s Invest Fest in collaboration with “Earn Your Leisure” co-founders Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings. Through their joint venture, profits made from the fund’s investments will be allocated across the entrepreneur’s three Capital Preparatory Schools, which are located throughout New York and Connecticut.
Combs also presented $1 million to Jackson State University’s football team during the Cricket MEAC-SWAC Challenge Kickoff. While previously accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 BET Awards, Combs pledged the amount to both JSU and Howard University – and has officially done just that.
Notably, it also marks the magnate’s second significant financial contribution to HU. His first donation came in September 2016 amid his “Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour.”
“I was blessed to receive a great education from Howard University — one of the best schools in the world — and it helped to fuel my success in business and life,” Combs shared at the time. “This scholarship will make it possible for the next generation of leaders to pursue their dreams and achieve greatness.”
The businessman’s philanthropic ventures extend beyond monetary handouts. In July, he introduced Empower Global, an e-commerce platform designed to uplift Black entrepreneurs. It launched with a whopping 70 brands across fashion, beauty, art, and lifestyle with the goal of reaching 200 labels by the end of 2023.
Shortly after partnering with WME in 2021, the mogul announced “The Excellence Program,” which aimed to help aspiring executives from underrepresented communities break into the entertainment industry. The initiative offered a six-week course across music, film, marketing, and fashion with key speakers like French Montana, Marshawn Lynch, Bill Duffy, Reggie Love, Terrence Jenkins, and several more. Heads from Combs Global, Endeavor Content, Amazon Studios, IMG Models, and Color of Change also helped lead the project.