Taylor Swift receives honorary degree from NYU, delivers commencement address

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022
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Taylor Swift received an honorary degree from New York University on Wednesday and delivered a commencement address to the Class of 2022.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Taylor Swift received an honorary degree from New York University on Wednesday and delivered a commencement address to the Class of 2022.

The 11-time Grammy winner received a Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, during the university's morning ceremony, which was held at Yankee Stadium.

She then delivered remarks to the graduating class. Read her full speech below.

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Praised for her philanthropic work and being a fierce champion for the gay community and women's rights, he superstar stressed never be ashamed of trying, that effortlessness is a myth.

"The people who wanted it the least were the ones I wanted to date and be friends with in high school," she said. "The people who want it most are the people I now hire to work for my company."

There were 19,000 strong inside, and many in a sea of violet were blown away by her speech.

"I actually wrote my college essay about Taylor Swift to get into NYU undergrad," student Sara Huncke said. "And I'm graduating from the business school, so it's a full circle moment for me."

Swift is the only female artist in history to win the music industry's highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, three times.

Her many awards and distinctions include being the most awarded artist ever in American Music Awards' history, along with being named Artist of the Decade, winning the BRIT Awards International Female Solo Artist of the Year in 2015 and the Global Icon Award in 2021, and being named Billboard's first-ever and only two-time winner of the Woman of the Decade Award.

She is also the only solo artist this century to have three albums reach No. 1 in one year.

During the ceremony, Felix V. Matos Rodríguez, chancellor of the City University of New York, and Susan Hockfield, neurobiologist and professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also received honorary degrees.

Lonnie G. Bunch III, the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian, historian Jill Lepore, and disability rights advocate Judith Heumann will receive honorary degrees during commencement for the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 Wednesday evening, after their ceremonies were postponed due to the pandemic.

Heumann will deliver an address to those graduating classes during the commencement.

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Destiny Morales was a nursing student during the height of COVID.

"I feel like everyone knew what they were getting into, and we said, this is what we want to do," she said.

Swift reminded the graduates there will be tough times.

"Breathe deep, breathe out," she said. "And I'm a doctor now, so I know how breathing works."

Full text of Taylor Swift's speech:

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