NBC anchor Brian Williams stops by Lipscomb to deliver ...
Bison Square briefly turned into a national stage as famous newsman Brian Williams hosted NBC Nightly News from Lipscomb University Thursday evening.
Williams, NBC’s lead anchor for its evening news program, came to Nashville to honor the promise he made to the 2014 Hillwood High School seniors who invited the popular journalist to speak at their graduation.
Before heading over to Allen Arena to speak to the graduating class, Williams and his crew created a makeshift news studio on Bison Square by the Bennett Campus Center for its Thursday evening broadcast.
Various on-lookers gathered at the perimeter of the area to catch a glimpse of the show.
Williams brings tale of unique encounter, message of inspiration to Hillwood students
Once NBC Nightly News concluded its ‘live-from-Lipscomb’ show, Williams ventured over to Allen Arena to fulfill his duties as the commencement speaker for Hillwood’s graduation.
In February, a video was posted on YouTube by Hillwood’s seniors that showed various students saying why they wanted Williams to speak at their graduation.
Their plea to Williams went viral and caught the anchor’s attention, and he agreed to take part in the festivities.
“There was no way I was going to say no,” Williams said after viewing the invitation.
Williams thanked the group for having him to their ceremony.
“And, I have to say this for the record, I was enormously flattered by what you did,” Williams said. “I was enormously flattered that you found value in my words to my son’s graduating class last year.”
However, Williams had just returned from a very important interview in Russia with one of the most prominent figures in current events.
“Exactly 32 hours ago, there was a knock on my hotel room door in Moscow,” Williams said. “I opened the door and in front of me stood the instantly recognizable most wanted man in the world today – Edward Snowden.
“He extended his hand and said, ‘Hi, I’m Ed.’ It was indeed him.”
In fact, Williams held with him a green folder during his meeting with Snowden – a folder Williams showed those in attendance. Green is one of Hillwood’s school colors.
“When Edward Snowden walked into my hotel room, he sat down and saw this green folder,” Williams said. “It’s green for obvious reasons, and he looked at it, and I said ‘I should probably explain what Hillwood High School is.’
“To rewind a bit, I’m explaining Hillwood High School to Edward Snowden in a hotel room in Moscow 32 hours ago.”
The interview airs next Wednesday as Williams and his team complete the coverage, which includes getting responses to Snowden’s remarks.
Williams, who did not finish college, told the group of graduates the importance of the diploma they had earned.
“Nobody has to tell me about the value of a high school degree,” Williams said.
Williams inspired the graduates with a similar word of wisdom he shared with the Elon class last year.
“Break the cycle of entitlement,” Williams said. “Go after it, after all, you went after me.”