Missy Elliott and Justine Timberlake were honored with doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music on Saturday. Composer and musical director Alex Lacamoire also received an honorary degree for his work in Hamilton, In The Heightsand Dear Evan Hansen.
“This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are being recognized for their achievements and influences in music, and for their enduring global impact,” the school said in a statement. The superstars were honored for their “influences in music, and for their enduring global impact, CNN reports.
Following the ceremony, both Elliott and Timberlake posted the landmark moment on Instagram. “CREATE YOUR OWN LANE,” Elliott captioned her post, alongside a video of her in a cap and gown with her framed diploma. “Sincerely Dr. Missy Elliot.”
“There will be ups and downs — prepare for that,” Elliott said. “As long as you are breathing, it is never too late. Don’t forget that. You have come too far to quit.”
Timberlake also shared some wisdom with the graduating class. “You’re defined by what you define failure as. It’s not a thing if it leads you to your success. It’s all part of the journey,” he said. “I hope that in the years to come, two things will happen: One, I will represent you in the way that you most hope for. And two, I look around and see this graduating class. Meet me at the studio. I want to see y’all!”