Graduation season is upon us and actress Angela Bassett had a busy weekend at Old Dominion University in Virginia.
On Friday, the American Horror Story actress, 63, announced she had received an honorary doctorate from Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Bassett shared that she was “happy and humbled” to receive her Doctor of Humane Letters from the esteemed public institution. “Education is truly the KEY! #stillmakingmymommaproud,” she wrote in her Twitter caption.
Bassett received the honor the same weekend she served as a keynote speaker for ODU’s 2022 commencement ceremony. Addressing the graduating class, Bassett powerfully urged students to honor the values of royalty set forth by ODU’s mascot the Monarch, a lion with a crown on its head.
“Thanks to a little film called Black Panther, I think I know a little bit about royalty … well, fictional royalty at least,” Bassett joked, drawing a laugh from the crowd.
But the actress was quick to emphasize the royalty she spoke about had nothing to do with “superheroes or kingdoms or magical powers,” and everything to do with the graduates in front of her.
“It’s about your leadership and your legacy,” Bassett passionately shared. “That’s the real crown that I want you to wear every day when you step out into the world.”
The 9-1-1 star already possessed an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta that honored Bassett for her leadership in Hollywood. She also has three degrees, including an honorary doctorate, from her alma mater, Yale University.
In 2020, Yale presented her with its lifetime achievement award, making Bassett the first Black recipient of the honor. Previous recipients of the award include Yale alumni President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, Jodie Foster, and Anderson Cooper.