John Legend Delivers Commencement Speech To Duke University Graduates


John Legend, EGOT winner and coach on The Voice, gave a commencement speech at Duke University on Sunday (May 2), becoming the first person who has achieved EGOT status to speak during the college's graduation ceremony, according to WRAL. He also received an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.

"We have so few moments to enjoy these rites of passage," Legend said during his speech. "Today is one of those moments, and of course, after a year when we could barely gather at all, it takes on a special meaning. Let's acknowledge the elephant in the stands: Your class lost a lot — job offers, loved ones, a year of those little moments that make college so special."

Legend's speech centered around strengthening communities and encouraging graduates to get involved.

"Class of 2021, Duke has poured all kinds of tools and resources into you, and I'm asking you to use them on behalf of our democracy and how interdependent we are on each other," Legend said.

He continued, "Bring your own unique gifts to the table to engage in the real, tangible bettering of your community. There is wisdom, strength and power in the community. You've learned that here at Duke. But don't forget it as you bind and build community elsewhere."

Legend took his own advice and met with local leaders, such as Durham Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson, to discuss racial justice and unrest in North Carolina and as well as local government innovation, WRAL reports.

Photo: Getty Images