Scott acknowledged the criticism from UNC faculty members who preferred a more "academic" speaker.
"I felt lonely because I thought 'here I go again, I have to stand up and prove I'm a journalist and not an entertainer,'" said Scott.
This journalist and Carolina alum did entertain the graduates. He also encouraged them to value diversity as they chart the next chapter in their lives.
"Cherish your friends. Understand the power in your words. Understand and embrace diversity, and go make a difference," Scott said.
Scott's remarks earned him a standing ovation, and praise from the newest Tarheel alumni.
"He said a lot. Good sendoff," said Sam Taylor.
Among Sunday's graduates was a man who earned millions without a college degree who came back to Carolina today to pick up his diploma. Vince Carter left UNC as a junior to play basketball for the NBA's Toronto Raptors.
Carter took classes during the summer to finish his degree.
"Now that this day is here, I feel better and better, because it's something I wanted to do, and it's something I'm going to accomplish," said Carter, who had to leave the graduation ceremony early to get to Philadelphia for game seven of a playoff series with the 76ers.