Darius Rucker Awarded Honorary Doctorate
Darius Rucker earned a new title last week. The Charleston, S.C. native was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was invited to give this year's commencement address
"I want to say what an honor this is to be here with you," Darius said to the graduating class (quote via South Carolina newspaper Post and Courier). "I got to go to one graduation in my life and that was Middleton High School right down the road."
The 45-year-old received the accolade for his contributions on MUSC's board of directors and generous donations to the hospital, as well as the ongoing efforts of his former band, Hootie & The Blowfish, helping children in need to continue their education.
The platinum-selling singer attended the University of South Carolina for one year, before leaving to pursue his musical dreams. "I took a year off 20 years ago," he joked. While he was never able to proudly hang his college diploma, this new piece of paper will have a visible place in his home.
"Usually, I put most stuff in my room upstairs, but I think my degree is going somewhere very close to the front door so when people walk in they know they have to call me Dr. Rucker," he continued. "My wife told my 9-year-old daughter about it, and she said, 'What, he didn't have to go to school?'"
All joking aside, the singer-songwriter, who has watched all six of his solo singles climb into the Top 5 on the charts, considers addressing the graduates to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"Today is a day I'll never forget," Darius said following the ceremonies (quote via South Carolina TV station, WCIV-TV). "Like I said in my speech, the Medical University was such a huge part of my life growing up ... To be here and to get to give a speech is one of those things I never even let myself dream of. That was an amazing day."
Darius is performing several dates this summer, including select dates on Brad Paisley's H20 II World Tour. He will also headline Nashville's annual July 4 celebration. Keep track of his schedule here.