“Those situations that didn’t work out, where we made mistakes, where we got fired (in Monte’s case three times); each of these were learning experiences.”

Republic Records co-founders and label heads Monte and Avery Lipman went home again on Thursday (June 24) to deliver a commencement address to their alma matter high school in Montclair, New Jersey.

Speaking before a crowd of graduating Montclair High School students, they brought a special guest along, Republic artist Coi Leray — who’s also a New Jersey native — presenting her with an honorary degree.

“The spirit of Republic Records started right here in Montclair, New Jersey,” said Monte Lipman, the label’s CEO. “I remember at my graduation the commencement speaker talked about challenges met during our four years of high school. But what you’ve endured and experienced, is truly one for the history books. With the events of the past 15 months, you’ve been challenged in ways that are unimaginable. In addition to being high school students, I can only imagine many of you have become caregivers, social activists and may have suffered great loss. You may not realize it now, but this moment will set you apart from generations to come and has prepared you for the unpredictability of life.”

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