Ryan Seacrest, who attended the University of Georgia for about a year in the ’90s before moving to Hollywood to pursue his dreams, returned to Athens Friday night to offer the commencement address at Sanford Stadium.
Seacrest is from Dunwoody, Ga.
Seacrest offered words of wisdom and encouragement to the class of 2016 and received an honorary degree from the school, according to an article on 11-Alive News, which he said was a proud moment for his mother – who's been waiting 24 years to see him in graduation regalia.
A committee of the state’s Board of Regents had approved Seacrest’s degree during the group’s monthly meeting, held in October of 2015.
During his speech, Seacrest told the graduating class to always trust their guts, and illustrated that point when he decided to up and leave college to go pursue his dream. He added that grads should also listen to people just as much as they talk and always be up for laughing, even if it's at yourself.
“We look forward to welcoming Ryan Seacrest back to the UGA campus,” the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports President Jere W. Morehead said in a statement before the graduation ceremony.
“Through Seacrest Studios, he has channeled his success into a source of comfort and creativity that has positively impacted the lives of pediatric patients and their families while providing significant learning opportunities for students. I am sure he will have a compelling message to deliver as the Commencement speaker.”
Seacrest even shot a selfie video during the ceremony with Hairy Dawg and the crowd. The event ended with a fireworks display.
His advice to graduates? Get busy and make it count, according to The Red and Black campus newspaper, because life is precious and fleeting.
In addition to his work in entertainment, including hosting “American Idol,” and creating and producing television programs, such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and “Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution,” Seacrest works with hospitalized children through the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. The nonprofit organization builds Seacrest Studios, or broadcast media centers in pediatric hospitals — including at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston — to allow patients and their families to experience radio and television broadcasting.
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