Missy Elliott Gifted Norfolk State $20K During Its Commencement Ceremony

Missy Elliott announced that she would be donating at least $20,000 to Norfolk State University during the institution’s Fall 2022 commencement ceremony over the weekend. The four-time Grammy winner joined the students of Norfolk State University to encourage the ’22 class of nearly 400 students never to give up and follow their dreams, ABC affiliate 13 News Now reports.

Elliott, a Norfolk, Virginia native, took a moment to share how proud she was of the students and pointed out how they should be proud of themselves, too.

“I am proud of y’all, and y’all should be proud of y’all self,” Elliott said. “I want you to look at each other and say, ‘You already won.’ Let ’em know! Ain’t no winning, you already the one. ‘Cause y’all coulda been doing anything else the last few years, y’all coulda been wildin’ out, but y’all decided to finish the course. And that’s major.”

Toward the end of the ceremony, Elliott presented a $20,000 donation, requesting that the funds go “to the area of greatest need,” a spokesperson for the school said.

During the event, the multi-hyphenate was also awarded a special honor from the university, the Presidential Commencement Medallion, and an honorary doctorate — making this her second honorary doctorate. In 2019, Elliott was bestowed with her first honorary doctorate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music alongside Justin Timberlake and conductor Alex Lacamoire.

Missy Elliott is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.