"Class of 2017, I just want you to know you will never be alone on whatever path you may choose. If you do have a moment where you feel a little down just think of the support you have from this great Trojan family and imagine me, literally picture my face, singing this song gently into your ear," Ferrell said to the crowd of thousands on campus and thousands more watching the live stream.
"If I should stay, I would only be in your way. So I’ll go, but I know, I’ll think of you every step of the way. And I will always love you, will always love you, will always love you, Class of 2017," he crooned before nailing Houston's famous high note. "And I will always love you!"
"Thank you. Fight on!" he yelled before stepping down from the podium.
Dr. Will Ferrell ('90) serenades @USC's graduating class of 2017 to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love you" after beautiful speech. ❤️💛 pic.twitter.com/PTiGaqdMhl
Ferrell was also awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters at the ceremony, after earning a Bachelor's degree in Sports Information. “A degree so arduous, they discontinued the program eight years after I left,” he shared. “We’re like the Navy SEALs of USC graduates.”
The father of three did offer a serious piece of advice throughout his speech, however.
"To those of you graduates sitting out there who have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to do with your life, congratulations," Ferrell said. "For many of you who maybe don't have it all figured out, it's okay. That’s the same chair that I sat in. Enjoy the process of your search without succumbing to the pressure of the result."