Brian Williams delivered a commencement address full of quirks to the graduates of Elon University in North Carolina, but what students and parents will likely remember most is the touching message he had for his son.
Williams, the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, spoke on Saturday to Elon's class of 2013, which includes his son, Doug. He talked about how people have a limited amount of time on earth to accomplish their goals and be with their loved ones. He also spoke of his trip to Moore, Okla., which was recently devastated by a tornado, and how he met a father whose 9-year-old son was killed by the storm.
Then, at the end of the 15-minute address, Williams addressed his son directly, saying how proud he was to be his father.
"Because there is a dad in Oklahoma who would give all he has to be able to throw a baseball to his son," Williams said. He stopped, took a step to the side of the podium, and threw a baseball to his son in the crowd.
"Here's the deal ... When you get home, you return the bargain by throwing that back into my mitt, which is the mitt you learned to pitch into, and then we will be whole again," Williams said. "Because all of this has us thinking about time."
Williams' speech contained plenty of jokes as well, including some directed at the Acorn Inn, a small hotel near Elon's campus.
"They couldn't be nicer there, they have those complimentary ... stairs," Williams said to a round of laughter.
Williams said that since he is a college dropout, the graduates in the audience now have something that he does not -- so there's no reason they can't go out there and save the world.
But he also made a few jokes about millennials, who are often criticized as being narcissistic and hyper-connected.
"We call our online world a community, but that's just to make us feel better," Williams said. "It's not -- this is. People to your right and left with hopes and dreams and fears. You have survived this already with them."
"So stop yourself, before you say something to your followers," Williams added. "Consider being a leader instead."
Check out the panoramic photo Brian Williams took from the stage:
— elonuniversity (@elonuniversity) May 25, 2013