News and Announcements
Sixto Rodriguez, WSU '81, receives honorary degree 5/9...
Rolling Stone, NME Magazine (London, England), Elmore Magazine (New York, N.Y.), Contact Music.com, Mstars News, CBS News, 5/10
'Sugar Man' Sixto Rodriguez awarded honorary degree
Sixto Rodriguez flew under the radar when he received a philosophy degree from Wayne State University in 1981, but now the folk singer, songwriter and subject of last year's Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man is quite a bit more famous. The Detroit college honored Rodriguez, a city native, with a Doctor of Humane Letters, according to the Associated Press. Wayne State celebrated Rodriguez for his "musical genius and commitment to social justice" during its commencement ceremonies at Ford Field.
The Detroit News, Mlive, WJBK-TV, WXYZ-TV, WWJ-AM, CBS Detroit, Detroit Free Press, ClickonDetroit, Deadline Detroit, The Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Seattle Times, KMPH-TV (Fresno, Calif.), Times Colonist (Victoria, B.C.), Huffington Post, News 12-TV (Yonkers, N.Y.), The Oakland Press, 5/9; Billboard magazine, Yahoo (South Africa), 5/10
'Sugar Man' Sixto Rodriguez gets honorary degree, salutes WSU grads
The Detroit musician who's suddenly become one of Wayne State University's more prominent alumni wished the class of 2013 good luck Thursday as he received an honorary degree from the school. In a short speech thanking the university, musician Sixto Rodriguez wished the graduating students from Wayne State University good luck. "Well done," Rodriguez told students at commencement Thursday at Detroit's Ford Field. "Or as we say in Spanish, 'bien hecho.'" Rodriguez, who garnered international fame this year after starring in the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the ceremony for his "musical genius and commitment to social justice." University President Allan Gilmour praised Rodriguez's talent after the ceremony. "It's amazing what he's done, first of all, and it's amazing what the students have done," said Gilmour, who said the artist would be a good ambassador for the university. Also receiving an honorary law degree was local businessman and community leader Walter E. Douglas. Gilmour, who is retiring as president after his contract expires next month, said his final graduation ceremony was bittersweet. "This is a great job and I've had the honor of doing it for three years now," he said. "The two things I'll miss the most is convocation at the beginning of the year and commencement at the end. You see the students come in and going out." More than 3,500 Wayne State students celebrated their graduation, with the ceremony divided into two sessions.
The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), WLNS-TV (Lansing), WWJ-AM, 13 ABC-TV (Toledo), Cadillac News, Washington Examiner, 5/9
'Sugar Man' Rodriguez getting honorary degree
Wayne State University had no idea that a folk hero was in its midst when Sixto Rodriguez received his philosophy degree in 1981. Then again, Rodriguez had no idea about his fame, either. The Motor City musician receives a Doctor of Humane Letters Thursday during the university's commencement ceremonies at Ford Field. He's being recognized for his "musical genius and commitment to social justice." Rodriguez's two albums in the early 1970s received little attention in the United States but he unknowingly developed a cult following in South Africa during the apartheid era. He was the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, Searching for Sugar Man. After his music career fizzled stateside, Rodriguez worked various jobs around Detroit, ran for public office and obtained his degree.
WWTV-TV (Traverse City), 5/1
Music legend Sixto Rodriguez to receive honorary degree from alma mater
During the morning newscast, it is noted that Detroit folk singer Sixto Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from Wayne State University in 1981, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the University’s upcoming commencement for his musical genius and commitment to social justice. Rodriguez, the star of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man, has remained politically involved and connected to the Detroit community, living humbly in the city, running for Detroit City Council and working to improve conditions for the inner-city working class.
Midland Daily News, ClickonDetroit, 4/29; The Cadillac News (Cadillac, Mich.), WLNS-TV (Lansing), Mlive, CBS Detroit, The Washington Examiner, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 4/30
Wayne State University commencement ceremony celebrates class of 2013
Music legend Sixto Rodriguez to receive honorary degree from alma mater
More than 3,500 students will participate in two Wayne State University spring commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 9, 2013. The ceremonies, which will conclude the university's 145th academic year, will be held at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Receiving honorary doctoral degrees will be famed Detroit folk singer Sixto Rodriguez and local businessman and community leader Walter E. Douglas. Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from WSU in 1981, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his musical genius and commitment to social justice. Douglas will receive a Doctor of Laws degree for his years of service to the city of Detroit and his many entrepreneurial achievements, as well as his devotion to philanthropy throughout the city and beyond. Douglas is chairman of the board and majority stockholder of Avis Ford, a Southfield Michigan automobile dealership. The ceremonies will be one of the last major university events for President Allan Gilmour, who will retire in June. Gilmour stepped in to lead WSU in 2010 on an interim basis and was unanimously voted in as the institution’s 11th president in January 2011.
WJBK Fox 2, 4/19
Sixto Rodriguez to receive Wayne State honorary degree
The Detroit singer made famous in the Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugarman” will receive an honorary degree from wayne state university. The 2012 documentary chronicles the search for Sixto Rodriguez. He graduated from wayne state in 1981 with a degree in philosophy. Rodriguez will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters on May 9th.
The Michigan Citizen, 5/2; Deadline Detroit, 4/18
Wayne State University commencement ceremonies celebrate class of 2013
Music legend Sixto Rodriguez and local businessman Walter Douglas to receive honorary degrees
More than 3,500 students will participate in two Wayne State University spring commencement ceremonies May 9 at Ford Field. The ceremonies will be one of the last major university events for President Allan Gilmour, who will retire in June. Gilmour stepped in to lead WSU in 2010 on an interim basis and was unanimously voted in as the institution’s 11th president in January 2011. Receiving honorary doctoral degrees will be famed Detroit folk singer Sixto Rodriguez and local businessman and community leader Walter E. Douglas. Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from WSU in 1981, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his musical genius and commitment to social justice. Deadline Detroit features a video clip of Rodriguez.
Searching for Sugar Man star Sixto Rodriguez to receive Wayne State degree; Masonic Temple show sells out
Sixto Rodriguez, star of an Academy Award-winning documentary called "Searching for Sugar Man," will receive an honorary degree from Wayne State University this spring. The Detroit News reported the news this week and mentioned Rodriguez will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters from WSU on May 9 at the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony. Rodriguez is an 1981 graduate of Wayne State who studied philosophy. He lives in the city's Woodbridge neighborhood near the school's campus and bought his home for $1 decades ago during a federal land auction.
The Detroit News, One News Page, 4/18
"Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez to get honorary WSU degree"
by Kim Kozlowski
Wayne State University will bestow an honorary degree next month on Sixto Rodriguez, the Detroit folk musician who finally found fame after he was profiled in the Oscar-winning documentary "Searching for Sugarman." “A lot of people at Wayne are inspired by his story, his work ethic and humbleness, not to mention the songwriting," said Matt Lockwood, WSU spokesman. "He graduated from Wayne and lives not too far from campus. We know he is a proud alumni and Detroiter. It made a lot of sense to give him this honor." In the 1970s, he was an iconic rock star in South Africa but never knew it. His albums flopped in the United States but evolved into the soundtrack of many South Africans' lives during apartheid because of his anti-establishment lyrics. The 2012 documentary chronicles the search for Rodriguez, who was thought to be dead, but was found living in Detroit. He has since appeared on "60 Minutes," performed on "The "Late Show with David Letterman" and is touring in places such as Wales, Australia, Spain, France and many U.S. cities, including Detroit next month. Rodriguez graduated from WSU in 1981 with a philosophy degree. He will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters from WSU on May 9 at the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony. At a second ceremony at 4 p.m. that day, WSU will give an honorary degree to Walter Douglas Sr., who has been involved in many entrepreneurial activities in Detroit and sits on boards throughout the community.
The Detroit News, 4/17
"Sixto Rodriguez to get honorary degree from Wayne State"
by Kim Kozlowski
Rolling Stone, 3/28
"Rodriguez: 10 Things You Don't Know About the 'Searching for Sugar Man' Star"
by Andy Greene
Detroit Free Press, 2/25
"Musician in Oscar-winning Searching for Sugar Man books Masonic concert"
by Brian McCollum
The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, WXYZ-TV, 2/24
"Searching for Sugar Man, story of Detroit musician Rodriguez, wins Oscar"
Searching for Sugar Man found an Oscar on Sunday night. The film, which traces the strange, almost unbelievable tale of Detroit folk musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez from obscurity to international success, largely without his knowing, won the Academy Award for best documentary feature at Sunday's 85th Academy Awards. The Oscar win caps the incredible 13-month journey of the film. "Sugar Man" debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and rode a steady wave of buzz over the course of the year. As the film picked up steam, Rodriguez, who performed his music in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, was profiled on "60 Minutes" and "CBS Sunday Morning," and made appearances on David Letterman and Jay Leno's talk shows. The success follows decades of obscurity for Rodriguez, who grew up at 831 Michigan Avenue in downtown Detroit and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Wayne State University. He did construction work in the city and occasionally dabbled in politics, including runs for Detroit City Council, State Representative, Senator and two bids for mayor of Detroit. Meanwhile, Rodriguez' international profile grew, and he became a cult figure in South Africa.
Detroit Free Press, 2/24
"Searching for Sugar Man wins Oscar, putting Detroit-themed documentary in worldwide spotlight"
by Julie Hinds
"Searching for Sugar Man about Detroit's Rodriguez a lock at the Academy Awards, experts say"
by Dustin Block
WXYZ-TV Detroit, 2/19
"Meet Sixto Rodriguez, the subject of the Oscar nominated documentary Searching for Sugar Man"
by Alicia Smith
Model D Media.com, 2/19
"Oscar sugar coming for Rodriguez?"
by Walter Wasacz
Detroit Free Press, 1/11
"Detroiter Rodgriguez thrilled by 'Sugar Man' nomination"
by Brian McCollum and Julie Hinds
"'Searching for Sugar Man' film about Detroit folk singer Rodriguez nominated for Oscar"
by Eric Lacy