This morning (May 17), Pharrell Williams received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from NYU and delivered the commencement speech at the university’s graduation ceremony.
During his nearly 10-minute address at Yankee Stadium, Pharrell spoke about humility, innovation, and the changing world that the new grads are entering.
“The days of being anonymous activists or participants are over. How can we inspire if we are behind the scenes?” he said, before discussing the importance of uplifting women. “Your generation is unraveling deeply entrenched laws, principals, and misguided values that have held women back for far too long and, therefore, have held us all back.”
The Grammy Award winning producer and artist closed out his address by urging students to serve a purpose greater than themselves. “There is no humanity without education and there is no education without humanity,” Pharrell said.
Watch Pharell’s commencement speech at NYU below.