Ludacris has officially joined the class of 2022.
On Wednesday, the Grammy-winning artist was presented with an honorary bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, which he attended for two years in the 1990s. Ludacris—real name Christopher Bridges—accepted the honor during the kick-off of GSU’s Commencement Week, in which he also delivered a 15-minute speech to more than 800 master’s degree recipients.
“GSU, I am home right now. I owe Georgia State University a great debt, because you helped me arrive at me ‘why?’” he told the crowd. “[…] My time on campus sharpened my skills. It gave me confidence that my path was preordained. That I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing. Though I left school I was never gone because this institution had become a part of me. It was a part of my fabric and DNA. My heart never strayed far from its steps and my commitment to someday return, and finish, was ever-present.”
Luda received an honorary degree in Bachelor of Science in Music Management, the same program he enrolled in 1996. The Fast and Furious star left college a couple of years later after he inked a deal with Def Jam Records, where he would go on to release his breakout single “What’s Your Fantasy.” Over the past several years, Ludacris has used his resources and experience to give back to GSU. Since 2019, he’s served as an artist-in-residence at the school, working with professors and mentoring students as part of the university’s Creative Media Industries Institute.
“I went to this school and I never finished my credits,” he told the Atlanta Journal Constitutionafter the ceremony. “For them to come back and give me this honorary degree, it means the world to me, just for the simple fact that I always knew I wanted to come back. I always wanted to finish. I’m not a person who starts things and doesn’t finish. For me, it’s a full circle moment.”