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NSU Surprises Commencement Speaker Missy Elliott



By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent
New Journal and Guide

In addition to bestowing an honorary degree on the university’s Commencement speaker Missy Eliott, NSU President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston also gave the superstar a special pair of NSU sneakers. Portsmouth native and multi-Grammy award-winning musical superstar Melissa “Missy” Arnette Elliott was the keynote speaker on Saturday (Dec 10) at Norfolk State’s 109th commencement ceremony. The university awarded degrees to around 400 graduates.

Missy Elliott brought energy and “swag” to the ceremony and the graduates listened enthusiastically and cheered her remarks. Elliott told the graduates to continue to pursue their goals and ambitions and to continue to believe in themselves and not allow others to discourage them.

Missy Elliott drew a loud round of applause when she told the students that “the friends you hang with, (should) match your energy.” Elliott closed out her remarks by telling the students that “quitting is not an option.”


NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston awarded Missy Elliott both the NSU Presidential Commencement Medallion and a Honorary Doctorate of Humanities. President Adams-Gaston also presented Elliott with a pair of Green and Gold sneakers. Missy Elliott later presented NSU with a check for $20,000.

NSU President Dr. Javaune Gston-Adams and Missy Elliott. Photo by Randy Singleton

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