“Even if that’s not the norm, you guys and girls still deserve all the praise,” Williams said. “You blocked it, you made it and today is your day.”
Patsy Douglas, a graduate student in mass communication, said she felt down for her graduation day because she couldn’t have a physical ceremony. But Williams’ message to the students raised his spirits.
“His message inspired me to move forward and fight for the best, regardless of circumstances,” Douglas told CNN via SMS. “His words and affirmation for the 2020 class will be carried forever in all our hearts.”
While Williams did not attend NSU, he said school had an impact on his childhood. He comes from Virginia Beach, which is located in the same region as NSU, and said his brother would always talk about how everyone looked at the NSU band.
“I understand why I once saw them,” said Williams.
“Being able to come talk to this incredible institution and also know that the state of Norfolk would perform at Something in the Water festival,” said Williams. “It would have been like closing my eyes and really seeing my childhood dreams become a circle.”
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