Picture of Chadwick Boseman Howard University
Credit: The Washington Post / Getty Images

Commencement speeches are really exciting. Hearing a commencement speech means you’re A) graduating, B) watching someone you love graduate, or C) in search of a little encouragement and inspiration. Some lucky graduates even get a celebrity sighting out of the deal. There’s nothing like capping off years and years of hard work with an empowering commencement speech from Oprah Winfrey about ethics in journalism. Or what about a quick pep talk from Dame Helen Mirren? We envy the people who have sat among their peers and received the wise words of these wonderful women. And for Howard University grads, Saturday, May 12th was a very special day. All thanks to Chadwick Boseman.

The star of Black Panther showed up to his alma mater to deliver a commencement speech to the new grads. Boseman was full of advice, humor, and yes, that world famous “Wakanda forever” salute. Boseman graduated from Howard in 2000. It’s safe to say he has gained plenty of life experience in the past 18 years. Those graduates were surely motivated by the end of the day.

Chadwick Boseman’s commencement speech was about speaking truth to power.

But Boseman’s cross to bear is that wonderful Wakanda salute. He kicked off his speech by giving the people what they want.

Howard University has seen a tough school year.

In September, former FBI director James Comey delivered an unwelcome address. A major financial aid scandal was revealed involving nearly $400,000 dollars of tuition money. And when an email was shared, Howard’s school President rubbed many on campus the wrong way.

Hopefully, having Chadwick Boseman speak to the students offered a bit of inspiration.

And maybe some hope and reassurance that these hardworking grads deserve.

Boseman also received an honorary doctorate degree. What a memorable day.

Wakanda forever. Howard forever. Congrats to the class of 2018!