Norfolk State University celebrated its 110th commencement ceremony on Saturday (May 6) with award-winning actor, writer, director, and producer Nate Parker delivering the keynote address to nearly 600 graduating students at William “Dick” Price Stadium.
Nate Parker, a Norfolk native, has performed in at least 19 films, including “Beyond The Lights,” “Red Tails,” and most recently, “The Birth of a Nation,” which Parker wrote, directed, and played the role of the leading character, Nat Turner, who led an 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia. “The Birth of a Nation” won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
In his remarks, Parker challenged the graduates to understand their gifts and calling. He urged them to not give up on their dreams, and to recognize those who have helped them along their life’s journey. Parker was awarded the NSU president’s medallion following his speech.