Superstar singer Rihanna paid a visit to Harvard University today to accept an award for her philanthropy, and she did it in true “Bad Girl Ri Ri” style.
The 29-year-old was honored by the Harvard Foundation for building a state-of-the-art cancer treatment center and creating scholarship and educational programs for youth.
“So I made it to Harvard,” she said, smirking and stroking her long ponytail to screaming applause, while wearing an off-the-shoulder grey dress with matching boots.
The singer, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, reflected on being a young girl in Barbados, wishing for the opportunity to help poor children she would often see in commercials.
By 18 years old, Fenty was a budding pop star in America and had already created her first charity foundation.
“You don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian,” she told the crowd. “You don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t have to be famous. You just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can.”
“You don’t even have to be college educated,” Fenty said, which got a reaction from the crowd when Rihanna suggested she still may consider getting a degree.
“I mean, I wish I was. Especially today… I might come back but alright!” she said with a laugh.
The singer also credited much of her charity work to her grandmother, Clara “Dolly” Brathwaite, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer.
“We are all human and we all just want a chance. A chance at life, a chance at an education, a chance at a future really,” she told the crowd, challenging them to find one cause or person to help.
“All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.”
The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations was established in 1981 to improve race relations and promote the value of diversity. Past award-winners have included James Earl Jones, Malala Yousafzai and Sharon Stone.
Watch RiRi receive her award and give her full speech below (it starts one hour and 16 minutes in)!