Jackson State University released its version of a “Happy” video on Monday, April 7, featuring more than 100 participants, including JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers and actor Danny Glover.

The video is based on the Academy-Award nominated song by the artist Pharrell Williams. In JSU’s version, faculty , staff, students and people from the community dance to the upbeat tune.

There was a “Happy Video Contest” conducted on social media, encouraging people to submit footage of themselves dancing to the song. Winners got the opportunity to be in the video released on Monday.

JSU Social Media Associate Ashton Hall said she got the idea for the video because of the song’s trending activity on social media.

“I thought it would be good to highlight Jackson State, showing it as a colorful, fun, happy place to come and get a quality education,” Hall said. “Faculty and staff were extremely excited, and I think it’s because it was a campus-wide project.”

JSU’s video also has star quality. When Glover was in Jackson to support the union efforts of Nissan employees, Hall and Helena Walker Brown, also a JSU social media associate, persuaded Glover to join the project, but it wasn’t easy.

“We had to ask him about five times,” Hall said.

Brown said another feature that makes Jackson State’s video different is the appearance of the university concert chorale.

“They give it a nice touch at the end,” Brown said. “We’ll release a second video of them singing the whole song later this week.”

Viewers get to see a lighter side of the university’s leader in the video as Meyers dances to the song.

“It was a special treat to see her cut loose. She really, really enjoyed herself,” Brown said.

The video, which was shot and edited by new media coordinator Spencer McClenty, will be posted on the university’s website and its social media venues of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Follow JSU on Twitter and Instagram @JacksonStateU and on Facebook @Jackson State University.

Shelia Byrd

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