Russell Wilson to give Spring 2021 NC State commencement address

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Monday, April 19, 2021

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Here's some exciting news for the spring 2021 graduates of NC State.

Russell Wilson, one of the top passers in NC State history and the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, will give the commencement address.

The ceremonies will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 14 and 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 15.

"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. "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."

Woodson will confer an honorary degree on alumnus Jeff Williams, chief operating officer at Apple during Friday's ceremony. He will also confer an honorary degree on alumna Ashley Christensen, James Beard Award-winning chef, during Saturday's ceremony.

The ceremonies, which will be streamed live, will also include remarks from graduating students and university leaders.

Wilson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from NC State in 2010. While at the university he was a two-time Academic All-ACC selection and was named ACC Rookie of the Year and team MVP in 2008.

He ranks 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). He also set an NCAA record for career pass attempts without an interception with 379. His NC State teams advanced to two bowl games in his three years of competition. His jersey was honored at NC State in 2014.

Wilson is an active volunteer in Seattle, while off the field.

He founded the Why Not You Foundation in 2014, a non-profit dedicated to motivating and empowering today's youth. Wilson recently partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness and funds that supplied more than 10 million meals to help those in need during the pandemic. He volunteers with Seattle Children's Hospital and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Wilson received the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award to honor his volunteer and charity work as well as his on-the-field accomplishments.

Wilson and his wife, Grammy-winning singer Ciara, have three children.