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    When I think of Georgia football I immediately think of Coach Dooley...,” Most people think of him as a coach, but he was also a great Athletic Director who brought life to all the sports at Georgia. It wasn’t just about football, he had a great influence on the whole university. I think everyone involved with Georgia would be proud to have the field named after Coach Dooley.” said Kevin Butler, former UGA Bulldog kicker and member of Super Bowl winning Chicago Bears in 1985, now a post-game radio host for the Georgia Bulldogs. Sanford Stadium in Athens was named for a great gentleman and scholar, Dr. Steadman Vincent Sanford, who first arrived at UGA as an English professor, before taking on leadership roles on the faculty and athletics committees. Sanford would become UGA President and later Chancellor of the entire University system, and in 1911, he moved UGA's football venue from the small and cramped, but scenic Herty Field in the old north campus, to a valley and the stadium’s current location.  The original stands only sat 30,000, and the field sat atop Tanyard Creek, now encased in a cement culvert under the stadium running east to the Oconee River. A reasonably complex drainage and irrigation system on that natural turf field helps to maintain the grass as well as that historic, football shaped hedge.  Vince Dooley arrived as a young head football coach in 1963, and went on to win the NCAA National Championship in 1980 as well as six SEC Championships. Dooley is still Georgia's winning-est football coach (1963-1989), also serving an over-lapping tenure as Athletic Director, and then continuing in that role through 2004, with Georgia teams in a variety of sports winning 23 national championships and 78 SEC titles during his time as A.D.  Vince and his wife Barbara Dooley have also become generous donors to UGA academic and scholarship pursuits. There are now a Dooley Library Endowment Fund and a Dooley Professorship in Horticulture, both made possible by their generosity. And the only subject that Coach Dooley will talk longer on than football is gardening...  Both Dooley’s call Athens their adopted home, raising their son and two daughters there, son Derek is now a college football coach as well, and the charmed couple have become walking icons for Bulldog Nation, both known for their southern charm, hospitality and enduring love for all things Georgia football.  Recognizing these and so many other contributions to the University, both in the academic and athletic arenas as well as becoming true pillars of the Athens community, UGA President Jere Morehead and Athletic Director Greg McGarity (whom Dooley first hired), recently informed a surprised Coach that the field he spent a quarter century coaching atop would soon be named in his honor.  Coach is now 86, and remains active on more boards and non-profits than most folks half his age. I have the pleasure of serving on the Board of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia with Coach. He attends most every meeting, often offering insightful guidance and advice, and then hops in his Kia and drives himself back to Athens. Vince and Barbara introduced me to Bulldog Kia in Athens, and that's Barbara's face saying 'See y’all at Bulldog Kia' to a few hundred thousand Bulldog fans on billboards around Athens each fall.  The Dooleys are both warm, genuine and class acts devoted to UGA. And another one like them, UGA's current President Jere Morehead said as much when he responded to efforts by more than 450 former Bulldog players calling for naming Sanford Stadium's field in honor of Coach Dooley. Current Dawgs Coach Kirby Smart played for Coach Dooley, as did former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and hundreds of other NCAA and later NFL stand-outs.  The Athletic Association and University System Board of Regents are adding their voices to that chorus, singing a tune now long over-due. Normally each fall UGA home opener tends to be a light schedule game, and sometimes the stands don't even fill, into the now 92,000+ seats which expanded around that field during Dooley's tenures.  But I expect for this year's opener, on Saturday, September 7th against Murray State, there will be a packed house, and a later standing ovation and applause perhaps not equaled since that national championship season, when that 100-yard stretch of privet and Georgia green officially becomes Dooley Field, an honor truly and duly long over-due. The Dooley’s and their family are expected to be there for the honor and a special half-time tribute. Congratulations Coach! Go Dawgs!!
  • An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy,' Old Spanish proverb.  If you are reading or being told of this column, you also at some point had a mother, or if you are blessed, you are a mother, grandmother or other in the raising of children and shaping of lives in your family, with each trying to make sense and make their way on this planet of ours.  Each day, 10,000 American Baby Boomers reach the age of 65. By 2050 the number of living Americans at or above that anniversary milestone is projected to reach 82-million. Only the Millenial generation at that point are expected to out-number seniors, in a nation of then projected population of roughly 400-million. Georgia remains a top tax and location friendly state for retirees, as ranked by Kiplinger in 2017, and our capital city of Atlanta is the nation's #1 rapidly aging city (in terms of core population).
  • The fact is, John Chapman might well be the best-known figure from our national past about whom most people know almost nothing at all.” ― Author Howard Means, “Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, the American Story.” As a child in DeKalb County Elementary Schools, as well as later in college, I was blessed to have studied under several gifted educators and teachers who made me a better person, as well as a stronger scholar. In first grade, Miss Rice, and than later in 4th grade, Mrs. Morris each vastly expanded my vocabulary and world view. Just as my parents and family helped form me as a person, loving and gifted teachers helped to shape my mind, and build a lifelong desire for learning.  My oldest daughter, Barclay Carson, is herself a teacher, in Gwinnett County, leaving her own indelible and lasting mark on 1st and 2nd graders, and beginning next fall, a promotion to the 4th grade. Barclay is following in the footsteps of her mother, Nancy Lowery Powell, also a fellow educator at Trip Elementary in Loganville.  My youngest child, Olivia, is following a path more similar to my own, with an elementary education in the DeKalb County School District. After some struggles at our prior school, we moved Olivia this past fall and she is now flying high as an Oak Grove Eagle. Olivia has developmental delays and Down syndrome, and is now in a special education classroom setting, presided over for the past three decades by Mark Manganello. Mr. Mark has become both a leader and a fixture of the school, after-care, summer school and the community, completing his 31st year at Oak Grove this spring, and 40 years as an educator.  For much of that time, Mr. Mark has taught a multi-grade class, 3rd grade through 5th, joined by several para-professionals, Mark navigates the learning disabilities and challenges, specific to each child, modifying their grade level curriculum, while also rewarding and recognizing the spark of learning in each child.  Like tending a small fire into a roaring flame, it’s a joy to watch Mark's rapport grow with each student, from educator to friend, to life mentor. I have noted children no longer matriculating at Oak Grove walking towards Mr. Mark with a beaming smile, ready for a life update and probably a hug, this teacher makes connections with his charges which appear to be life-long.  As we watched Olivia's mind open and rapidly expand, her vocabulary nearly doubling, cognition and reading comprehension more than trebling and grasp of other subjects ranging from social studies to math and science each rolling clearly into view and reality, there is little doubt in my mind of where to lay the credit. Mark Manganello has created and maintains a safe and supportive learning environment, where it is both 'okay' to be different and learning, at all levels is celebrated.  A year ago when I would pick Olivia up at her school, I often found her walking towards me with head bowed, and the body language of defeat. Now as she again runs towards me, with head up and a smile on her face, I know that the lessons of this classroom and school are more than coming off the pages of a textbook, or a lesson online.  Noting how Mark has for decades played the unintentional role of 'Johnny Appleseed' planting the seeds of learning in the minds of so many children, otherwise often discarded by our public education system, we wanted to find an appropriate way to thank and recognize his legacy. Oak Grove has an incredible organic garden within its courtyard, tended over by an extremely gifted and active volunteer, Kendall Xides. Ms. Xides presides over the green-space and children across all grade levels help to tend the garden. And now that little Oak Grove utopia has its first apple tree.  It is our hope that this apple tree will bear fruit for the teachers and students at Oak Grove for many generations to come, just as the seeds of learning which Mark Manganello long ago planted so lovingly continue bearing their own fruit as perhaps his most lasting legacy. And Mark's passion for special education has also taken root in his own family, as his daughter Jennifer Manganello also teaches special education at Oak Grove, so Mr. Mark's legacy will last on there in more ways than one.  So from your the many little apples in the orchard, and their grateful parents friends and family, thanks to Mr. Mark for being our own 'Johnny Appleseed,' and may you find your coming semi-retirement as pleasant and rewarding as you have found your decades in the classroom. Cheers with a nice glass of hard cider.
  • We cannot allow this dangerous disease to make a comeback in New York City,' said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking to the city's emergency powers in matters of public health during a press conference on April 9, 2019. There are limits to my belief in modern medicine. Currently only taking one prescription drug for elevated blood pressure, lots of supplements and CBD oil to deal with a chronic inflammatory illness. I'm a big believer in wellness, prevention, chiropractic, exercise and a near daily yoga practice to help maintain good health.  But the evidence is indisputable, that vaccines have prevented serious illness among hundreds of millions, saved lives and shrunk the world of many killer diseases into a deep freeze in petri dishes secured within vaults at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Undoubtedly, preventative vaccines have spared both my children most of the once more severe illnesses of childhood.  Yet I did note a significant increase in both the type and number of required vaccinations from the birth of daughter #1 in 1992 to daughter # 2 in 2007, both children have been spared the pleasure of the measles and its German cousin, chicken pox, mumps and many other maladies too numerous to mention.  And yet, in many parts of the first world, parents are increasingly vacillating or in many cases simply saying NO to childhood vaccinations. Some believe vaccinations harbor small amounts of heavy metals like mercury and other toxins as preservatives. Thiomersal, and it's trade name, Merthiolate (patented by Eli Lily in 1928), are a preservative, derived from Mercury, used in the manufacture of many medical vaccinations.  A not small number in the scientific community, thousands of parents and families, and several well-regarded studies have indicated that Thiomersal may contribute to or cause autism and other illnesses, including cancer, SIDS and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  While parents have the right to make these decisions for their families and children, we are at the same time, more and more congregating in cities, where population density and commonly used surfaces and gathering places are also more and more the societal norm, in the United States and elsewhere. A current resurgence of the measles in New York City, originating reportedly within Orthodox Jewish communities who do not vaccinate as a matter of faith, has moved into the broader public school system population.  New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio is leading a public awareness effort, 'Don't Wait...Vaccinate,' to slow the measles outbreak, already resulting in hundreds of hospitalizations, from developing into a pandemic. The Mayor and City Council have mandated the measles vaccine for school-age children within several Zip codes in Brooklyn where out-breaks first occurred. Prior to the public health emergency declaration, Orthodox Jewish families in the impacted neighborhoods and communities were simply urged to keep sick children at home.  Vaccinations, on a global scale, have all but eradicated the threats of small pox and polio...and yet without continued vaccinations among our new population, these crippling and fatal diseases may likely make a return just as measles, chicken pox and other ailments considered less threatening are occurring, even to the extent that some parents hold 'measles/pox parties' to intentionally expose their offspring, in hopes of naturally strengthening their immune systems.  The annual flu vaccine, as an example, is often administered without any preservatives, while still sparing millions of Americans from the serious and in some cases fatal malady of the flu. And yet, with that vaccine both inexpensive and almost universally available, thousands of adults continue to choose to avoid it, and Georgia was among the most flu-infested states in the nation yet again this year.  The pharmaceutical industry, coming off another year of near record profits, would do well to make the common sense decision to research and deliver other preservative options. Protective mothers, like bears and lionesses are not likely to simply accept assurances and admonitions of 'trust us.' Trust, once lost or broken must be earned. Let's not gamble again with global public health. Drugs are tweaked and re-patented every day at the molecular level by big pharma when seeking the protections of a new patent. It's time to step up, so that you help remove the doubts of thousands of families refusing to roll up their sleeves and point their child's foot, upper arm, thigh or other body part at the business end of a needle. How about a little bit of self-directed financial pain for a significant confidence and consumer trust gain? Don't vacillate, make the smart and easy choice.
  • Welcome to Arlington National Cemetery, Our Nation's Most Sacred Shrine. Please Remember: These Are Hallowed Grounds,' greeting inscribed at the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery. The American Civil War ended 154 years ago this week as Appomattox treaty meetings got underway on April 8, 1865. This ended five years of conflict, resulting in more than 1,000,000 U.S. casualties and 655,000+ deaths (Union troops - 364,000+, Confederate troops - 290,000+). The war gave America its greatest loss of life in the history of our nation, and the Confederacy lost what was then just under 25 percent of its white male population.
  • At Goodwill, we try and meet our clients where they are...and then with training and the tools we have developed, we help them get to here they want to be, and hopefully on their way to a successful career,' said Keith Parker, CEO Goodwill of North Georgia, at a Goodwill “Atlanta Works” panel discussion at the Commerce Club of Atlanta.   Long-standing legacy charitable organizations have their challenges. Public attention and favoritism are often fickle, and many local and regional charities and non-profits now also compete for limited resources with their own national chapters.  Missions change, expand and shift, and often competition arises, sometimes within the same space, from newer, smaller and even hyper local entities, with the same good intentions, but little of the long term experience or success in delivering results.  One of those most visible, and in Georgia, among the largest in the non-profit arena is Goodwill. You most likely have seen and possibly shopped in their thrift stores. They collectively generated nearly $150-million in revenue during 2018. Goodwill received more than 3-million donations during the same period, interacting with 7.5 million customers, donors and clients. Most stores are now staffed and managed by former Goodwill clients. Long known for offering job-training for the developmentally disabled and in some markets sheltered-workshops (where the disabled could be trained and respectfully employed in a safe, albeit somewhat segregated surroundings), providing a modest income, the self-respect which comes from regular employment and the measured independence which follows.  Goodwill of North Georgia (45-county service territory) is led by its CEO, Keith Parker, until recently the man who turned around metro Atlanta's long-troubled mass transit system, MARTA. At MARTA, Parker stabilized finances (now more than a quarter-billion in operating reserves), improved morale and overall operational efficiency, strengthened a police force which has helped MARTA become one of the nation's safest transit systems, as well as won the confidence of the state's business leadership, statehouse and numerous city halls. If this Parker had chosen to stay at MARTA, I would have wagered heavily in favor of the recent unsuccessful transit expansion referendum in Gwinnett County to already be counting that new penny of sales tax revenue this week. Parker is a catalytic leader and change agent. He also walks the factory floor...at MARTA he road those trains to and from work himself, most every weekday.  At Goodwill, Parker understands that that humble worker or disabled adult who walks through their doors may not know where they are heading...or just how they will get there. Fortunately Goodwill does know, and provides the tools, hand up (versus hand-out) and help to identify opportunities to begin that climb up a career ladder and hopefully to a middle-class or better lifestyle and standard of living. Parker believes that wage inequity is a challenge for most urban areas, and at Goodwill, he is trying to do something about that as well. But during Goodwill’s “Atlanta Works” panel discussion, Parker was not suggesting massive taxation or re-distribution of wealth. He was simply suggesting greater investment in human capital and more work force training, in this case privately funded.  Along with Metro Atlanta Chamber CEO Hala Moddelmog, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta CEO Raphael Bostic and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms...Parker and the panel agreed it is incumbent upon all of the business community to help lift and hire those most challenged and vulnerable, as an employed worker is not only productive and contributing to society, but also no longer a potentially dependent burden, living life on the edge in the safety net or on the streets. This was not only a noble calling to hear, but impressive to note again, that Parker, less than a year into his new gig, is already shifting the landscape, changing the conversation and building community consensus while defining the new mission to lead. The man who re-opened MARTA for business is now going to try and re-open business minds to not only employing, but training and promoting non-traditional employees.  Having a child with Down syndrome, who is blossoming more recently in school thanks to a gifted educator, we are already looking ahead to transitioning to adulthood, higher education and later employment opportunities. I don't know if Mr. Parker will still be running this show by the time our child graduates high school, but if he is, I have faith and confidence that the developmentally disabled seeking employment opportunities in north Georgia have their future in good hands...and that is more than goodwill.
  • Nothing short, in my opinion, of an attempted theft from the people of Atlanta, and the city of Atlanta,' said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms following passage in the Georgia State Senate of a bill to create a state airport authority, to oversee operations of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other major commercial airports across Georgia.It was legendary Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield who wined and dined a former U.S. Postmaster General into selecting Atlanta over Birmingham for locating one of the first major U.S. airmail depots, south of the city at the Atlanta Municipal Airport, a formerly abandoned auto race track, still called Candler Field into the early 1940s.
  • I'm not telling you that it is going to be easy. I am telling you that it is going to be worth it,' said Art Williams, father of a child with Down syndrome. Thursday, March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. WDSD is a global celebration and day of recognition and awareness for the children and adults, as well as their families and friends living in the world of Down Syndrome. Activities and social media awareness efforts will continue worldwide throughout the week.  English physician Dr. John Langdon Down, first identified what he is perceived as a distinct mental health diagnosis in 1862. It was not until early 1959 that French pediatrician and early geneticist, Dr. Jerome Lejeune along with colleague Martha Gautier, discovered that Down syndrome patients carried an additional chromosome on their 21st pair of 23 chromosomes. This gave us the name Trisomy 21, and the genetic marker for Down syndrome, which remains the world's most common genetic abnormality at birth, typically 8 out of every 1000 live births in the United States. Among the most unfortunate aspect which readily comes to mind about the world of Down syndrome, and spending time with infants, children and adults with this genetic abnormality, is that the name of the discovering physician was not Up.  My youngest daughter is a pre-teen with Down syndrome. Whenever I pick her up at the end of a long school day, she still runs and practically jumps into my arms. This welcome is followed by a long hug and inquiry about how my day has been. As we walk to the car, typically hand in hand...she shares the measure of her day, its brief high and sometimes low points, and we plan the rest of our afternoon or evening. Though casting no aspersions, this simply would not happen with a typical pre-teen, boy or girl. Her general kindness and treatment of others routinely brings joy. On a recent grocery trip, she noted the customer ahead of us, a nurse, had apparently had a particularly challenging and long shift. Olivia instinctively stroked her lower back, told her things would get better, and then began to unload her buggy, quickly moving to the end of the same line to bag her order and place it in her cart. Olivia is 11, she has never been trained nor worked in a grocery store, though she regularly visits with her mother, step-father or myself. The nurse was over-whelmed with gratitude, and though she had just previously paid forward a portion of the order of the customer preceding her, she reached back into her purse and handed Olivia two crisp dollar bills and said, 'Pick out something fun, just for you.' It was $2 dollars, generously given, and Olivia's face lit up like a Christmas tree. We didn't make it home before the reward had been purposed and two reward trinkets made the ride home us. I worked for nearly 9 years in the grocery business, during high school and college, and I can't remember how many thousand customers who I helped bag or carry groceries out to their car...but I can't remember a single exchange that felt quite like this one. Our children are not seeking special treatment, a parade or the level of financial support we rightly raise to fight cancer, diabetes or many other chronic health conditions. What they seek, and we advocate on their behalf is pretty simple. They want acceptance, inclusion, friendship, independence and a life largely being treated just like everyone else. They may work years to perfect simple tasks which their own brain can trip them up on. But more than the joy of mastering that skill, they bask in the glow of friendship, consideration and love from others. If you have occasion to interact with someone of special needs this week, perhaps realize for a moment how much they prefer that you treat them normally, that you speak to, include and embrace their presence in your community, workplace or place of worship. And if you make that choice, let me know how you feel, as well as the smile which you most likely receive as instant payment, or perhaps a simple hug which greatly improves your day. I can’t promise that every inter-action will bring joy or perfection, but I can guarantee that over-time you will be the better for those inter-actions. Happy World Down Syndrome Day!
  • With a bit of work ethic and any kind of training or certification in our construction trades, you can be employed in days, ranging from a paid apprenticeship learning a craft up to starting salaries in the $80,000 a year range,' Michael Dunham, CEO, Associated General Contractors of Georgia, Inc. (AGC).
  • My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.' from Donald Trump's autobiographical memoir, 'The Art of the Deal,' published in 1987. As an entrepreneur, reality TV star, later presidential aspirant and now President, Donald Trump frequently reminds us all, on Twitter and elsewhere of his powers of persuasion and big deal making. I give President Trump credit for opening discussions with North Korea, and its odd dictator, Kim Jong Un. Three generations of the Kim family have ruled North Korea since 1948. And standing down the nuclear weapons program of the tiny first world regime has vexed U.S. presidents ever since. Following the first summit, Trump was able to cause Kim to halt missile launches over allies like Japan as well as actively testing his nuclear arsenal. Kim was also persuaded, by Trump or by history, to take the first steps across his border and the de-militarized zone, to walk and talk with his South Korean counter-part, and to possibly begin what might actually become the full armistice and end of the Korean War.

News

  • A man accidentally fatally shot his 23-year-old daughter as she was trying to enter the family home early Sunday morning. >> Read more trending news  Investigators said Nadeja Jermaineque Pressley was coming home around 1:15 a.m. when she was shot through the door by her father, who thought an intruder was trying to get inside, WYFF reported.  The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.
  • Emergency crews are investigating after a reported incident occurred on board a plane at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. In a statement to WSOC, airport officials said, “There is an investigation of a security incident on board an aircraft. More information to come.” Dozens of people were escorted off the plane and first responders came to the aircraft.  >> Read more trending news  Officials have confirmed the investigation involved a Jet Blue airplane departing from Charlotte, North Carolina, heading to New York on Sunday morning.  A JetBlue spokesperson told to WSOC the flight has been delayed. “JetBlue Flight 218, scheduled to depart from Charlotte to New York this morning, has been delayed for additional security screenings out of an abundance of caution. Local law enforcement is on-site and we are working to get customers on their way to New York as soon as possible.” According to David Lathan, a passenger on the plane from Rockingham, North Carolina, the aircraft was taxiing to the runway when the pilot had to stop. Lathan claims the pilot told the passengers there had been a bomb threat and gave them directions. “He said that there's been a bomb threat,” Lathan told WSOC., adding that the pilot said, “There’s going to be a policeman come up to the door. They’re going to open the door. When they do, get your luggage, and exit the airplane.” No other information has been released.  The investigation is ongoing, WSOC reported.
  • Two men are behind bars facing charges of inducing panic after allegedly surfing on the swollen Great Miami River. >> Read more trending news  Passersby spotted the men in the water shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday. Andrew S. Cook Jr., 25, and Garrett M. Pickiering, 26, said they also had asked someone to call for help after they apparently fell into the river in the area of State Route 47 and Port Huron Drive. “We had prepared for a water rescue,” Sgt. Joel Howell, of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said. “We weren’t exactly sure if they were in the water.” Deputies received word that the pair, who were wet and carrying an oar, were just south of town. “They ended up going to jail for inducing panic, the reason being they left after asking somebody to call for help for them,” said Howell, who added that Cook and Pickiering apparently admitted to seeing at least one deputy respond. Cook and Pickiering were each booked into the Shelby County Jail on suspicion of inducing panic. They await Monday morning court dates, according to online records. Howell said the river is especially dangerous because it is flooded over the banks, full of debris and has a swift current.
  • A Mississippi teen is fighting for her life after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Jonestown, Mississippi. >> Read more trending news  Family members said Lamonshae Williams was shot in the stomach during a graduation party overnight. She was rushed to Regional One in critical condition. Williams graduated from Coahoma Early College High School on Saturday. Relatives told FOX13 she graduated sixth in her class.  Another victim who was shot at the scene was treated at a local hospital and is expected to be OK. Lamonshae's mother Luetisha Gardner said she is heartbroken about the situation. She told FOX13 that Lamonsha's older sister was killed a few years ago. Jonestown has very limited police coverage, so Coahoma County deputies are currently handling the case. Officers have not identified any suspects at this time. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
  • A year ago, the world watched as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at Windsor Castle’s historic St. George’s Chapel. Less than a year after their nuptials, they welcomed their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. On Sunday, the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary. >> Read more trending news  Harper’s Bazaar reported that the couple has shared behind-the-scenes moments from their big day in an Instagram post on Sussex Royal. Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: A relationship timeline The video slideshow begins with a series of black-and-white photos that include images of Markle holding hands with her mother, Doria Ragland, and Prince Harry pretending to hitchhike to his wedding. Audio of “This Little Light of Mine,” which Sussex Royal said was selected by the couple for their recessional, can be heard as the images are displayed. The video slideshow ends in color images of the big day and wedding bells. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also shared a message to supporters, saying, “Thank you for all of the love and support from so many of you around the world. Each of you made this day even more meaningful.” Watch the video below.
  • Billionaire Robert F. Smith, who received an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College at institution’s Sunday morning graduation exercises, had already announced a $1.5 million gift to the school.  But during his remarks in front of the nearly 400 graduating seniors, the billionaire technology investor and philanthropist surprised some by announcing that his family was providing a grant to eliminate the student debt of the entire class of 2019.  >> Read more trending news  “This is my class, and I know my class will pay this forward,” he said. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony. The announcement elicited the biggest cheers of the morning. Tonga Releford, whose son, Charles Releford III, is a member of the class of 2019, estimates that her son’s student loans are around $70,000. “I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Smith’s gift has been estimated at $40 million. Tonga Releford’s husband, Charles Hereford Jr., is also a Morehouse graduate. He said their younger son, Colin, is a junior at Morehouse, an all-male historically black college. The father said he doesn’t know who the keynote speaker will be at Colin’s graduation ceremony but is hoping for a return performance by Smith.  “Maybe he’ll come back next year,” he said.