Darius Rucker and Willie Nelson Given Honorary Doctorates
Willie Nelson was awarded an honorary doctorate alongside Carole King and Annie Lennox at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass. on Saturday (May 11). The next day, the University of South Carolina presented the same honor to Gamecock Darius Rucker, who also had a chance to speak to the school’s graduating class.
“I want you to take time, take some real time,” Rucker said, according to the Greenville News in South Carolina. “Find something that makes you want to give ’til it hurts.” Later he told the story of perhaps his most important day at USC. It happened in the shower.
Rucker was living in Moore Hall, singing a Billy Joel song as he bathed, when Mark Bryan heard him and suggested they start a band. They did, adding Jim Sonefeld and Dean Felber to form Hootie and the Blowfish. “All my dreams started to come true right here,” he said.
At Berklee, Nelson also gave a speech, later commenting on the honor the school bestowed upon him. “I was going to ask them if I could write my own medication,” he told the Boston Globe. “Probably not, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.”
The 80-year-old called it a great honor to be given a doctorate, adding he was looking forward to playing with Berklee students. “Yesterday when we were rehearsing, I tell you, it was incredible to see those young kids doing what they want to do.” He and Lennox performed separately with the students on Friday night.