From GED to Ph.D. — The Inspiring Story of Dr. Rolundus R. Rice
It was an honor to have Dr. Rolundus R. Rice speak at the virtual commencement ceremony on GED Grad Day 2023 earlier this month. You can partake in the inspiration by watching the recording of his speech here.
We are excited to welcome Dr. Rice as the keynote speaker at the GED Conference this July in New York City. He is a thought leader, orator, professor and university administrator. His own journey from the GED credential to a Ph.D. degree has inspired thousands of students.
Dr. Rice’s childhood and youth presented challenge after challenge. During school, he spent years going through behavior and learning disorders programs in the Dekalb County School System in Metropolitan Atlanta before dropping out of high school. Later on, pursuing his GED got him back on track and his career in education and beyond has flourished ever since.
Dr. Rice graduated from DeVry University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude. He then earned the Master of Arts in History from Alabama State University and the Doctor of Philosophy in History from Auburn University — the first GED recipient to earn a Ph.D. in Auburn’s 166-year history.
As a historian, Dr. Rice taught undergraduate courses in World History, U.S. History, The Civil Rights Movement and American Religious History. His research focused on the Modern Civil Rights Movement. CNN interviewed Dr. Rice as a subject-matter expert on the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the Montgomery Advertiser.
Dr. Rice’s book, Hosea Williams: A Lifetime of Defiance and Protest was the first scholarly biography on one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s closest lieutenants and organizer of “Bloody Sunday” and the subsequent Selma to Montgomery March.
His work in the non-profit sector includes organizing strategic initiatives for the Southern Youth Leadership Development Institute in Montgomery, Alabama. He has also worked at The Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Georgia; his role there was Special Assistant to Dr. Bernice King – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King’s youngest child. Following Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, Dr. Rice traveled with Ms. King and a team of civil rights activists and trainers to engage with educators, law enforcement officers, civic leaders, gang members and business leaders in the philosophy and techniques of her father, MLK.
As a university leader, Dr. Rice was appointed Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama at the age of 33. He is one of the youngest academic deans at an accredited four-year institution in the United States. Furthermore, as President and CEO of The Dapper Dean Education Empowerment Firm, Dr. Rice sees the world as a global classroom and grooming ground for greatness.