Commencement . . . a beginning and an ending. And, so it was for the more than 650 graduates at Norfolk State University’s spring commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 7, at the Norfolk Scope. As with HBCUs in general, commencement is a family- and friends-type affair that brings in immediate and extended family members, young and old, and the graduate’s neighborhood friends . . . all showing off a role they played in the life of that graduate. There are tears, whoops, enthusiastic laughter, frantic waving and the traditional cap tossing. Commencement is a solemn but joyful climax and recognition of the graduates’ years of study. It’s an important and meaningful occasion to the University, its faculty, staff and students. The 98th commencement exercises at Norfolk State were filled with the traditional pomp and circumstance, but also had a few surprises.
Among this year’s graduates was Kyle O’Quinn, center/forward for the New York Knicks, who was greeted by faculty, staff and his fellow graduates with selfies, handshakes and slaps on the back. Congratulations Class of 2016!