It’s safe to say Norfolk University Students were “Happy” after being surprised with a commencement speech from singer, Pharell Williams. The University happens to be an HBCU in the hometown of the grammy-winning singer. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing orders, graduates across the world have had to make the unfortunate decision to sacrifice their graduation.

Visit for more information

The Virginia native spoke to NSU graduates Saturday, May 10th. “Even if this is not the norm, you guys and girls still deserve all the praise,” the singer mentioned in his speech. “You stuck it through, you made it and today’s your day.” The singer then told students how NSU had an impact on his childhood, mentioning that the school marching band inspired him to learn how to play instruments in his younger days. He even invited the marching band, known as Spartan Legion to play at his “Something in The Water” festival prior to the pandemic. “That would’ve been like closing my eyes and really actually seeing my childhood dreams come full circle,” he said about the band performing at his festival,” the award-winning producer.

Patsy Douglas, a graduating Mass Communications major, told CNN ” “His message inspired me to keep going and striving for the highest regardless of the circumstances. His words and affirmation to the class of 2020 will be forever carried in all of our hearts.”


Congratulations to the class of 2020!