Stormzy collected an honorary degree from from Exeter University in recognition of his “outstanding achievement in the field of higher education, philanthropy and widening participation.”
The London rapper was recognized for his “remarkable contribution to society and extraordinary talent,” during Tuesday’s ceremony. Stormzy said he was “extremely blessed and grateful” to have received the honor for his work to promote education and fight racial inequality.
While addressing the graduating class, he paid tribute to his mother during his moving acceptance speech. The “Vossi Bop” hitmaker praised the students for having “the guts and the grit and the dedication,” to complete their studies. He reflected on his own education, admitting, “I didn’t have the same minerals that you guys have.”
“What you have achieved is incredible,” Stormzy said, while congratulating the graduates. “Don’t let anybody downplay it and don’t let anybody undermine it. If you are sat in this room today you are worthy and you are brilliant.”
Stormzy also recalled hearing news of the honor. ‘Rah boy… check me out. They’re calling lil’ old Mike a philanthropist,’” he joked.
Stormzy Pays Tribute To His Mother
During his speech, Stormzy also thanked his mother, expressing, “this moment is real full circle.” He noted she “is sitting there beaming with pride and joy right now.” He added, “her biggest dream for me was for me to go to university and graduate and then become somebody.” Check out his acceptance speech below.
The grime superstar has been an avid spokesman for Black empowerment and social activism. His Merky Books imprint gives underrepresented authors the opportunity to publish their works. In addition, he created the Stormzy Scholarship to support Black British students through their education at the University of Cambridge. As reported by AllHipHop, earlier this year he dished out 30 scholarships in partnership with HSBC.