The graduating class at HBCU Norfolk State University got a big surprise when mega producer Pharrell Williams crashed their virtual ceremony via webcam with words of encouragement during these difficult times.
“Even if this is not the norm, you guys and girls still deserve all the praise,” Pharrell said in his speech. “You stuck it through, you made it and today’s your day.” He revealed to the graduates that the Spartan Legion, which is NSU’s marching band, was the inspiration behind him learning to play instruments and create music. Before the COVID-19 outbreak forced most music events to be postponed or cancelled, Pharrell invited the Spartan Legion to perform at his Something In the Water festival this year.
“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.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, NSU was forced to hold their graduation ceremony virtually on Saturday, May 10th.
One of the graduates expressed her delight with the surprise cameo from The Neptunes star.
“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.” Patsy Douglas revealed to CNN.
You can watch the touching speech below.