Comedian Bill Cosby accepted an honorary doctoral degree from Rust College, then bestowed it on a student who overcame dyslexia to earn a graduate degree.
During a speech Sunday at the northern Mississippi college's 124th Founders Day celebration, Cosby gave Rust graduate Troy Brown his royal blue hood in recognition of Brown's academic achievements.
"He came here with an awful lot of differences--about himself and about his family. This school took him and showed him love and understanding," said Cosby, 53.
Brown overcame dyslexia with help from faculty at 1,000-student Rust College and went on to earn a graduate degree from Alcorn State University. Brown is now working toward a doctorate in educational psychology at the University of Mississippi.
Cosby urged young people to look to their parents, grandparents and teachers for role models:
"They're the ones who read you the Bible and the old people who tell you the truth. Your role model on TV doesn't even know you."