India's music maestro A R Rahman has been conferred with his first American honorary doctorate by the Miami University here.
Rahman addressed a large gathering of 15,000 attendees at the ceremony where he was awarded the honorary degree for Doctor of Music at the University's 173rd Annual Commencement Ceremony held at the Yager Stadium in Oxford, Ohio.
For Oscar-Grammy winner Rahman it was his fourth Doctorate.
In his address said he had never imagined the US President and his family sending him personally signed invitations to come over to the White House, getting a visa to come to the US, let alone coming over to share his love and music with Miami University and also getting his first American honorary doctorate.
"I wish to thank a few people who have made a significant impact in my life: My father and mother have anchored me with good values; then Mani Ratnam who is India's noted film maker gave me my first break in the world of cinema in the film Roja," Rahman said.
He added: "My Sufi teachers opened my consciousness and helped me discover myself. People from all around India have embraced me and my music without any discrimination and today, I find the same spirit of acceptance in Hollywood."
Rahman, in his Commencement Address to the 2012 graduates of the University delivered a message of never to give up in life, to move ahead, and to always keep smiling as you embark on new journeys.
He thanked his mother and his whole family for their love and support and gave his mother the credit for his immense success.
His speech was well received with thunderous applause by all of those present at the event.
For over ten years, Rahman has been associated with Miami University which had also assisted him in the making of K M Music Conservatory.
"I cannot believe that it is over ten years since my music and I have been associated with Miami University. I have enjoyed collaborating with your students and faculty and above all, every interaction has allowed for greater understanding, sensitivity and growth," he said.
David C Hodge conferred the Honorary Degree on to Rahman and thanked him for his unwavering support to the University.