John Legend receives honorary degree and delivers keynote address at Duke University
DURHAM, North Carolina (WNCN) – Duke University graduates crossed the stage today for the school’s first in-person ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each graduate could invite two guests to the ceremony in person at Wallace Wade Stadium. Masks were to be worn throughout the ceremony and everyone was spaced out with assigned seats.
“We come together to celebrate this day which is all the more joyous as we mark the slow return to normal life amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Duke University President Vincent Price.
Even with the faces covered, you could still see the excitement coming from the faces of the students as they had an opportunity that the class before them didn’t, crossing the stage. Duke televised the ceremony live and one of the highlights was R&B star John Legend delivering the keynote address.
“On the way to Wallace Wade, your class has lost a lot. Some lost jobs offer lost loved ones and you’ve all wasted an entire year of the moments that make college so special, ”said Legend.
Before Legend left the stage, he made a remark that followed his popular song “Glory” which he performed for 30 seconds.
Duke says he’s still exploring the possibilities of celebrating the Class of 2020 in person on campus in the coming months, but hasn’t said when that decision will be made.
Legend graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a BA in English with a focus on African American literature.
He is the first African-American man to earn the “EGOT” distinction – meaning he has won Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.