The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer


Ice Spice: Fordham’s Next Honorary Doctorate

The ‘Princess of Rap’ is the perfect candidate for this year’s honoree at commencement
The 24-year-old American rapper embellishes Fordham’s Jesuit values and is an outstanding candidate for an honorary degree at the 179th commencement ceremony.

Every year, Fordham University’s Board of Trustees selects a group of individuals to be awarded an honorary degree at the university’s commencement. On Friday, March 15, The Observer obtained exclusive access to a leaked document containing the Board of Trustees’ final selection for the 2024 commencement’s honoree: Ice Spice. The viral drill rap sensation is indubitably Fordham’s best candidate for an honorary doctorate this year, and the best decision made by the university’s administration all year.

According to the Commencement Committee’s website, nominees are chosen for traits such as leadership in the Catholic and Jesuit traditions, excellence in subject matters taught at the university and service to Fordham or New York City. Ice Spice is the perfect encapsulation of not only one, but all three of these benchmarks for a Fordham honoree.

Ice Spice was born and raised in the northwest Bronx near Fordham Road, making her a local celebrity. Her native city is integral to her rap career: She’s a part of the New York drill rap community and is proud of it as well, having revitalized the birthplace of hip-hop with new energy. The artist has shared her success with the city at large: All of her music videos were filmed in New York City, such as “Deli” — filmed in a bodega in uptown Manhattan — and “In Ha Mood” — filmed on the city streets. 

Some may assume that Ice Spice is utterly unrelated to the Jesuit philosophy: Those people would be dead wrong. In an interview with Erykah Badu and Puma Curry published by Interview Magazine, Ice Spice revealed that she went to a Catholic high school and still prays often: “Me and God are besties,” she said. Her lyrics are also reminiscent of Catholic social teaching tenets — Ice Spice preaches self-love and empowerment for women, which ties in directly to the idea of “cura personalis,” care for the whole person, that our university espouses as our Jesuit mission. 

Last year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Fordham was going to name Stevie Wonder a Doctor of Humane Letters at the 2023 commencement ceremony. I very much enjoy Wonder’s music, and was glad the university recognized him with an award. This year, the Commencement Committee really exceeded my expectations. Stevie Wonder is great and all, but he hasn’t collaborated with Nicki Minaj yet like Ice Spice has; frankly, because of that, she deserves this award more than he did.

If Ice Spice performs at commencement like Wonder did, her award would also be incredibly beneficial to students and faculty. Because of how viral Ice Spice has become on social media, her mere presence on campus would make Fordham immensely popular — maybe if we get a sizable increase in applicants next semester, they’ll reverse the 4.4% tuition increase. Honoring Ice Spice at commencement this spring is truly beneficial to all. 

Some may say that Ice Spice is too young and too early in her career for such an accolade, but I disagree. Her artistic expertise and connection to her fans have allowed her to reach a level of adoration that few other celebrities have. She’s been called the “People’s Princess,” just like the late Diana, Princess of Wales, for a reason — Ice Spice deserves a diploma alongside the crown bestowed upon her by her admirers.

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About the Contributors
ANA WINSTON, Former Assistant Opinions Editor
Ana Winston (she/her), FCLC ’26, is a former assistant opinions editor at The Observer. She’s a comparative literature major with a linguistics minor and is equally annoying about both subjects. In her spare time, she likes to read, write, peruse the Criterion Channel and pester her friends about music. Her favorite activity is walking through the Ramble in Central Park while drinking a matcha latte and listening to one of her many playlists.
TARA LENTELL, Former Creative Director
Tara Lentell (she/her), FCLC ’25, is the former creative director for The Observer. She is originally from Kansas City and is majoring in international political economy on the pre-law track. When not making graphics or working on The Observer, she can be found watching television, reading a book or exploring a new museum in New York City.

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