Zac Brown Receives Honorary Degree From Alma Mater, University of West Georgia
Zac Brown received an honorary degree from the University of West Georgia during its spring commencement ceremonies at the university’s campus in Carrollton, Georgia on Saturday (May 13).
The Georgia native attended UWG in the late ’90s, and accepted the honorary doctorate of humane letters in front of more than 4,700 graduates and their loved ones at the ceremony, sharing with graduates—now his fellow alumni—several truths that he has learned during his career.
“I am so happy to be here celebrating your graduation with you today, and it is an honor to come back home—where it all started for me,” said Brown in his acceptance remarks. “Find something that you love to do and give it all you have because you win when you love what you do. Be yourself and see the world as you want it to be.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive an honorary degree from the University of West Georgia,” he continued. “As a former student, I have always valued my time at UWG and the impact it had on my life and career. To be recognized in this way is truly special, and I hope to continue to inspire future generations of students to pursue their passions with dedication and perseverance.”
“We are thrilled to call Zac—who has demonstrated his talents in a career as a musician, philanthropist and entrepreneur—one of our own at the University of West Georgia,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, UWG’s president. “Awarding him this honorary doctorate instills a sense of pride in the institution for everyone in our university community. His commitment to giving back and supporting the next generation of leaders is an inspiration to us all, and we are grateful for his commitment to remain connected to his alma mater.”
The degree recognizes Brown’s contributions to the music industry, his philanthropy, and his deep roots in Georgia and UWG. Brown was raised in Dahlonega, educated at Lumpkin County High School and then attended what was then called West Georgia College, where he was a member of the Zeta Kappa chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity.
Since founding the Zac Brown Band in 2002, Brown and the band have released numerous Platinum albums, won three Grammy Awards—including Best New Artist in 2010—sold more than 30 million singles and nine million albums, amassed more than 10 billion catalog streams, achieved 16 No. 1 radio singles and were the second act to top both the country and active rock formats.
Brown also founded Camp Southern Ground, a nonprofit camp in Fayetteville dedicated to serving youth and veterans. During summer months, CSG hosts kids ages 7-17 for week-long, inclusive, residential camps, bringing together typically developing children, children with neurodevelopmental differences (Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD, ADHD), underserved children, and children from military families to participate in programs that challenge, educate and inspire. The rest of the year is dedicated to supporting post-9/11 veterans with programs helping in the transition to civilian life after military service.
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