This past May, Tyler Perry addressed the graduating class of 2016 at the historic Tuskegee University in Alabama.
Perry was given an honorary doctorate degree from the university in his home base of Alabama, where he’s established Tyler Perry Studios. Following the presentation of his degree, Perry addressed the 520 graduates directly.
“No one really knows what you went through to be able to sit in this seat. All of it was to make you strong, strong enough to go through whatever you have to go through to get to your dreams.”
In his address, Perry recounted the hard work he struggled through on his incredible road to success, how he learned from failures, and the power of his own perseverance, before challenging the graduates: “Live in your truth. Share your gifts. If your aim and your intentions are right and do the right thing, you will make it.”
Tuskegee was established in 1881 by Booker T. Washington as one of the first private historically black colleges. It has served as the legendary home of World War II’s Tuskegee Airmen, is a historic site in its own right, and at one time boasted renowned scientist George Washington Carver among its faculty. The university has long served as a beacon of education in the south.
Watch Tyler Perry’s full inspirational commencement address above.