*Editor's Note: a previous form of this article incorrectly stated Russell Wilson will confer honorary degrees. Chancellor Randy Woodson will be handing out those degrees at the May 14 and May 15 ceremonies.
Former NC State football quarterback and current Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson is set to be the 2021 commencement speaker, the University announced Monday, April 19. Wilson will speak at both the May 14 and May 15 ceremonies.
“We are honored to welcome Russell Wilson back to NC State to inspire our spring 2021 graduates at these very special commencement ceremonies,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson in the announcement. “Russell has always supported his alma mater well and represented NC State with class. We know our students, their families and our entire Wolfpack community will be excited to see Russell back home at Carter-Finley Stadium.”
Wilson is one of Pack football’s all-time greats, ranking fourth in career passing yards (8,545), second in passing touchdowns (76), sixth in completion percentage (.578), third in 300-yard games (12), second in rushing by a quarterback (1,083 yards) and fourth in total offense (9,628 yards).
In the NFL, Wilson won Super Bowl XLVIII and has been selected to the Pro Bowl eight times. Since he joined the NFL, Wilson has started every game for the Seahawks and consistently posted stellar numbers year after year.
Off the field, Wilson has been recognized for his great volunteer work, including his nonprofit (the Why Not You Foundation), being awarded the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2020.
Wilson previously spoke at last year’s virtual graduation ceremony for student-athletes.
Some incredible words from @DangeRussWilson at today’s graduation ceremony for our student-athletes. A huge thanks to him for being a part of this special day! Whole speech coming soon, but for now, hear Russell talk about his love for NC State: pic.twitter.com/68tT7IK7tj— NC State Athletics (@PackAthletics) May 8, 2020
*In addition to Wilson speaking at the ceremonies, Chancellor Randy Woodson will confer honorary degrees to alumni Jeff Williams, chief operating officer at Apple, and Ashley Christensen, James Beard Award-winning chef.
Both ceremonies will be livestreamed, according to the release, and Wilson will be joined in speaking by university leaders and graduating students.