Anthony Hamilton has enjoyed worldwide success and fame, but home is where his heart is, and for him, that place is Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born there and still proudly calls Queen City home. On Sunday, May 21st, the “Comin’ From Where I’m From” singer received a prestigious honor in his hometown from Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte’s only HBCU. Hamilton was awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts and delivered the keynote address during the school’s 150th commencement ceremony.
Johnson C. Smith University administrators and faculty welcomed the North Carolina Music Hall Of Fame inductee to the exercises, which took place at Bojangles Coliseum. After remarks from President Clarence D. Armbrister, Chairman of the JCSU Board of Trustees Steven L. Boyd and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officier Karen D. Morgan presented Anthony with his honorary degree.
“Today we take a moment to celebrate and to recognize a multidimensional hometown hero,” Chairman Boyd said to begin his glowing introduction of Hamilton that chronicled his life and career. “A young man who grew up just 13 miles from the front steps of Biddle Hall who showed early promise as a member of the famed South Mecklenburg Choir and ultimately went on to become an internationally known singer, songwriter, producer, author, actor and humanitarian.”
Anthony graciously accepted his framed doctorate and posed for photographs before addressing JCSU’s Class of 2023. “I am humbled to be here to receive this award today,” the new Dr. Anthony Hamilton said during his speech. “After years of living near this campus, I am proud to be a Golden Bull now.”
AHam beamed with pride as he focused his speech on the graduates. “I admire this generation. Whether it’s in the streets marching against injustice, volunteering in the community, working in the classroom or speaking out online, you guys are unafraid, you guys are fearless and you don’t back down. You think different and you fight differently,” he said.
Nearing the end of his remarks, Anthony shared an encouraging message. “This journey has propelled you to a place where you can be and do and think and create anything you want. So when they ask you why are you here, what are you gonna say? Giving you the best of me,” he quipped, referencing his hit song “Best Of Me.”
“Know that your greatness is not a mistake and you are worthy of it. Class of 2023, I salute you, I pray that your journey is blessed and covered and that you always have a song to sing when it don’t seem right,” Dr. Anthony Hamilton said to wrap up his commencement address, which was greeted with applause from all those in attendance.
Watch Dr. AHam’s full speech and Johnson C. Smith University’s complete 150th commencement ceremony below.- Advertisement -