Musician, producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams will address NYU graduates on Wednesday, May 17, at the University’s 185th Commencement Exercises. The event will be held in the Yankee Stadium.
Pharrell Williams will not only be speaking at the school’s commencement, but he’s also planning to debut a new song during the ceremony.
“I was really inspired by Kanye’s song drop at NYU a few years ago,” Williams said in a statement. “NYU is the perfect mix of artsy, intellectual and influential that if my song is what they associate their graduation with, it could be the anthem of a whole generation.”
According to NYU spokesperson Johannes Becker, the university has already heard the song.
“The board of trustees, every school dean and our communication team all crammed into this sound-proof room and started swaying as we listened to it,” Becker said. “We all agreed that this was a fitting way to send off our class of 2017. They have done some amazing work, and this song is hopefully something all our graduates — past and present — can fall back on when the goings get tougher than they imagined.”
Who Is Pharrell Williams?
Pharrell Williams is best known for his award-winning work as a pop/R&B musician and producer. In addition to being a two-time Academy Award nominee, Williams has earned 11 Grammy Awards. In 2013, he topped the charts with his No. 1 song “Happy.”
Last year, Williams was an artist in residence at Tisch School of the Arts.
“You know what commencement means?” Williams asked. “It means the beginning of something, even though it marks the end of someone’s time at an institution. But this commencement for me is more than just a beginning — it’s a whole new era — and it all starts with one note.”
Williams will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa, at the ceremony.
New York University Details
Total Enrollment: 25,722
Acceptance Rate: 27%
2016 Commencement Speaker: Darren Walker, Ford Foundation President