Award-winning actress Dr Sheryl Lee Ralph received an honourary doctorate of fine arts degree from her alma mater Rutgers University.
Ralph received the degree during Rutgers University-New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Commencement on Sunday (May 14) where she delivered the keynote address to the graduates.
In her speech, the critically acclaimed actress pleaded with the graduates to never give up on their dreams.
“Our country and the world took a tragic and difficult turn. Kobe died, George Floyd was killed, and then the world and everything changed when COVID-19…shut down the world. But, you stayed the course, you never gave up, you kept doing. We need people who have been through something and still have so much to give and share—that’s you,” said Ralph.
Given that it was also Mother’s Day, Ralph left a message with the graduating mothers and those present at the ceremony to support their children.
“It’s Mother’s Day, and I am here getting my PhD, my doctorate at my alma mater Rutgers University. I am so happy I am so thrilled, and to all of the mothers out there at graduations and getting your own degree congratulations and Happy Mother’s Day,” she said in a video posted on social media.
Ralph started university at 16 years old and made history as the school’s youngest graduate three years later, in 1972, at 19 years old.