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CULTURE

Diddy Announces Major Partnerships as Howard Awaits his $1 Million Pledge

Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs Receives Honorary Doctorate From Howard University  – Rolling Stone
Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone.

The name Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is not unfamiliar to headlines, especially recently. The music and business mogul, CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment and Howard University alum announced new business and philanthropic pursuits over the past few months. In addition to announcing that Combs Enterprises would be moving into the cannabis business, Combs’ name was also recently attached to a Howard University-related scholarship as a part of his sentiments towards the significance of education. 

However, in the midst of these displays of pride for his alma mater and monetary planning, Howard University awaits its reception of a $1 million pledge from the decorated mogul made nearly five months ago. After receiving the honor of Lifetime Achievement at the BET Awards in July, Diddy excitedly closed his speech promising a $1 million donation to Howard University. Sometime after its initial announcement, neither parties have made any formal or public announcement regarding the whereabouts of the donation. 

Per Howard University’s associate vice president and COO of development and alumni relations, Princess Gamble and executive vice president of brand, strategy and communication for Combs Enterprises, Natalie Moar, there is unspecified action being taken for the University to receive the donation. 

“We are not ready to discuss details,” Moar said, a point that was further reiterated by Gamble.

During the week of Howard University’s homecoming, however, a meeting took place between Combs Enterprises COO, Tarik Brooks and the department of development and alumni relations to “establish direction” for the university’s usage of the gift, according to both Moar and Gamble. 

Diddy and his team have declined any further comment on the plan for the donation or any specifics concerning the urgency of the deal being closed, despite being reached out to multiple times. Diddy, an active user of social media, has yet to post any follow-up having to do with his alma mater. His Twitter and Instagram have been more heavily saturated with his newest endeavors with Combs Enterprises and Revolt TV, including content featuring various artists, brands and even family matters. 

Most recently, Combs announced his plan to move forward with a $185 million deal for the purchase of cannabis licensing and operations. Combs took to Twitter to explain the necessity for this action as it relates to the Black community and their relationship to weed. 

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“People don’t realize the politics that go on behind closed doors in the cannabis industry,” Combs said via Twitter. “My mission has always been to create opportunities for Black entrepreneurs in industries we’ve traditionally been denied access to.”

Another arrangement included a scholarship fund in conjunction with Dr. Shyne Barrow, the Belizean rapper, and politician, that provided opportunities for students to be granted a Howard University education. The self-named scholarship “Sean Diddy Combs Belize Full Scholarship to Howard University” was announced by Dr. Barrow via Instagram. In his efforts for educational munificence, Diddy made “Belize a part of his philanthropic support for his alma mater,” Barrow explained in an Instagram caption about the scholarship. 

With ties to Howard as strong as ever, it is unclear whether or not Combs or his team will be inclined to comment on the progress of the donation until it is fully decided. Dissimilar to his previous donation directly to the school in 2016, the pledge was made prior to the planning, therefore leaving room for confusion and anticipation for the student body and others concerned with the follow-through. 

In 2016 Diddy announced and rolled out a $1 million dollar check for a scholarship fund to the Howard University School of Business. The announcement was made during the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour stop in DC. In this instance, the announcement and gift were rolled out simultaneously, leaving no room for speculation or interpretation about the funds. 

Between the date of the donation’s announcement and now, any mention of the donation is left off of Combs’ social media. 

Copy edited by Nhandi Long-Shipman

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