Sharing her special moment on Instagram, Aoki posted pictures of herself in a pastel pink dress and posing with her degree. In her caption, she thanked the women who inspired and supported her on this higher education journey.
“20 years old, and we out!✌🏽*inhale* Congratulations to my Mom, my Grandma, my Great Grandma, my sister (a fellow baddie with a BRAIN nobody how low-key she is about it!) to the international network of aunties, sisters, and friends, the Evelyns, Kyokos and Kimoras, the women who could not always get their degrees right away but who made damn sure we got ours, This one’s for you, I must dedicate this degree to all the leading ladies in my life, because who am I If not their daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend? Who am I without who came before and beside? We go TOGETHER. Women, period. Thank you for being here with me, crying tears of exhaustion, anxiety and joy with me, congratulations, thank you so much, & in the immortal words of JAY-Z, we on to the next one,” she wrote in her caption.
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Aoki is feeling all the feels as she closer this college chapter but is open to the new possibilities her future holds.
“I feel grateful, proud, and relieved, in that order. It’s a surreal feeling to be done with something that was such a huge part of my life. Now, like every other graduate, I’m on to the next chapter,” Aoki Lee told PEOPLE.
“I’m so thankful for the village of people that spurred me along and helped keep me focused. My mom, my sister, my little brothers back at home. It took a whole tribe, trust me,” she added.
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Sharing how proud she is of her eldest daughter, Kimora Lee Simmons, 48, posted a celebratory picture of her “beautiful and brainy” daughter on Instagram.
“My baby girl is a HARVARD GRADUATE!!! AND with a double major! AND one of the youngest in recent history to do so at only 20 years young! This is CRAZYY! IM SO-SO SOO PROUD! AND all the while carrying a full-time job modeling! But YOU DID IT!-WE DID IT! Mama loves you soooo much my brainy beauty! These are hard-fought tears anyone who knows us will know! 😭❤️❤️ #harvard2023,” Kimora captioned the photo.
This isn’t the first graduation for the Simmons family — Aoki’s older sister, Ming Lee, 23, recently graduated from NYU last week.
“This has been a banner season for our family. Both my daughters graduating the same year — wow! I can’t begin to express how proud I am of them. They’re both such brainy beauties! And they’re all mine!” Kimora told said.
“I want Aoki Lee to keep the same energy and passion she’s shown her entire life. It’s nice to have a Harvard grad in the family, but it might be nice to have an attorney, too. I’ve promised myself I’ll wait at least a week before I start gently nudging her in that direction, though,” she said.
Aoki will remain in NY while working on her modeling and mother’s businesses, but most of all, she’s looking forward to taking some much-needed time to unwind.
“I’ll be in New York modeling, writing, and working at my mom’s company. There are so many projects that I can’t wait to dive into,” Aoki told PEOPLE. “But it will be nice to take a breath.”
This year’s Harvard guest principal speaker at the ceremony was Tom Hanks.