Angela Bassett delivers speech at ODU's Class of 2022 graduation ceremony

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Posted at 6:45 PM, May 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-07 19:23:14-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University's celebrated the Class of 2022's success at its 136th Commencement Exercises.

Friday afternoon, award-winning actress Angela Bassett delivered the commencement address for Old Dominion University’s College of Arts & Letters. She addressed more than 500 graduates at Chartway Arena.

Bassett was the first of four commencement speakers for ODU’s 136th commencement exercises where nearly 3,000 graduates received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees over the course of two days.

“When I speak to graduates, I often compare the road to leadership and legacy to learning to walk in your own shoes, rather than trying to fill someone else’s,” she said. “And I say this because when we buy a new pair, it takes some time for those shoes to feel like they’re truly ours. By this, I want you to be comfortable with being uncomfortable as you enter into this new chapter.”

Bassett also received a Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) degree.

The actress is best known for her leading role as Tina Turner in the 1993 film, "What's Love Got to Do With It," which she won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award.

She has also been nominated six times for Emmy Awards, won multiple NAACP Image Awards, and been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards, nine BET Awards, including a Black Girls Rock Icon Award, and holds a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Congratulations to all the 2022 graduates!

Watch the full speech below: