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Spartan Legion Raising Funds for 2023 Rose Parade Appearance

Norfolk State University’s mighty Spartan Legion Marching Band, a jewel in our crown of achievements, has been invited to participate in the 134th annual Tournament of Roses Parade in 2023 in beautiful Pasadena, California.

Only nine of the best marching bands from around the globe are invited to participate annually in the Rose Parade. Bands are chosen based on several criteria including the ability to execute field maneuvers while marching forward. Bands are also chosen on musicianship, marching ability, uniqueness, entertainment value, or special interest.

The Spartan Legion is a true Hampton Roads ambassador and a beacon in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Its talent, showmanship, precision and musical prowess are unequaled and nationally renowned. With more than 45 million people viewing the parade annually, NSU’s participation in the 2023 Rose Parade will increase the university’s and the region’s brand recognition. A Rose Parade appearance will expose the Spartan Legion and Norfolk State to millions of prospective college students, new faculty, donors, and sponsors around the globe. Think about what that could mean for NSU!

“When I first received the call from the Tournament of Roses Committee, I knew we at least were being considered for the parade,” exclaimed William Beathea, NSU director of bands.

Now the work begins, not only for students, faculty, and staff but for the entire university organization as they rally to make this extraordinary opportunity a reality.

According to Michelle D. Hill, executive director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, NSU will need to raise a minimum of $700,000, and “we’ve got about 10 months to accomplish this goal,” she said during a recent interview.

It’s going to take all of us to ensure that our student musicians and performers have the experience of a lifetime. Together we can accomplish the goal of sending the entire musical regiment to the Rose Parade in 2023!

Norfolk State University needs your support to send the Spartan Legion Marching Band to Pasadena, California, all 270 members! We’ve got 10 months to raise enough money for travel, housing, feeding, special event activities, etc. for 270 band members, staff, and others on this unprecedented journey. You have supported NSU for decades for many different causes. We ask that you find it in your heart to dig deep and help us raise funds to send the Legion to the Tournament of Roses Parade. Be a part of one of the greatest happenings in NSU’s history. Join our effort and donate by texting RoadtoPasadena to 41444 on your cell phone or click here.

For more information, contact the Division of University Advancement at 757-823-8323, or email, or visit