Congratulations are in order for our very own Rickey Smiley—or, Dr. Rickey Smiley that is–after a monumental weekend at Miles College. Rickey Smiley earned an honorary doctorate degree and delivered the commencement speech for the school’s Class of 2023 on Friday.
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Click below for full speech:
Rickey spent time at the institution during his college matriculation, before ultimately graduating from Alabama State University. He mentions during his speech that he performed his first-ever comedy show at Miles, and has fond memories of many of its staff members, endearingly sharing that “it would not be a Rickey Smiley, if it was not for Miles College”.
Smiley went from humble beginnings as a Birmingham native, to having a successful comedy career and nationally syndicated radio talk show. After decades of experience in entertainment, philanthropy, and mentorship, there is no doubt that he is well-deserving of a doctorate—the most advanced academic honor!
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He encourages the graduates to get out of their comfort zones, dare to be different, and to remain close to God.
“Graduation is just the beginning…now we’ve got to get out here and make it happen,” he tells the Class of 2023.
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Miles College is a private, liberal arts HBCU in Fairfield, Alabama. Notable Miles College alumni include the honorable Judge U.W. Clemon, Birmingham’s first black mayor Richard Arrington Jr., and now Dr. Rickey Smiley.
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