University of Georgia graduates get advice from Ryan Seacrest (updated)


University of Georgia graduates get advice from Ryan Seacrest (updated)

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Brant Sanderlin
"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest takes a selfie with UGA mascot Hairy Dawg during his Commencement address. Seacrest, who grew up in Dunwoody, attended UGA briefly before pursuing a broadcasting career. More than 5,500 graduates were eligible to participate in the ceremony. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Ryan Seacrest only spent one year at UGA back in the mid-1990s before moving to Hollywood to pursue his dreams, but returned Friday as the graduation speaker.

According to UGA, he was given two tasks at the ceremony in UGA's Sanford Stadium -- “inspire a new class of UGA alumni and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the university he attended as a freshman.”

“We look forward to welcoming Ryan Seacrest back to the UGA campus,” said President Jere W. Morehead 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.”

Like many of the UGA graduates, Seacrest is from Dunwoody, Ga.

The ceremony included a selfie video shot by Seacrest with the help of UGA's costumed mascot, Hairy Dawg, and ended with a fireworks display. See photos and news from the UGA graduation.

His advice? Get busy and make it count, according to The Red and Black campus newspaper, because life is precious and fleeting.

ORIGINAL Story from Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015

Entertainment mogul Ryan Seacrest is a step away from getting the one thing that he has not yet received, a degree from the University of Georgia.

UGA is requesting an honorary degree for Seacrest, who attended UGA as a journalism major but dropped out of the state’s flagship institution before completing his degree years ago to begin his career in Hollywood.

A committee of the state’s Board of Regents approved the degree Tuesday during the group’s monthly meeting, held this month at Kennesaw State University. The full board still has to vote on the degree tomorrow.

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.

UGA President Jere Morehead said Seacrest is expected to be UGA’s undergraduate commencement speaker in May.

Additional reporting by Rodney Ho was included in this article

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