Charlie Rose to grads: "Be crazy. Be humble. Dream big."

"CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose was awarded an honorary degree at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, on Saturday.

Despite a student population of barely 1,700, the school has produced 26 Rhodes Scholars. Sewanee, as the school is known, is considered one of the great liberal arts colleges in the country.

In that tradition, graduation weekend opened Friday with a talk called "The Art of Conversation," where Rose sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Sewanee alumnus Jon Meacham.

"I learned more listening than talking," Rose said.

"That's true of many of us. Not everyone," Meacham responded.

"And certainly not in this political campaign," Rose said.

"No, no, no," Meacham said.

Saturday's commencement began with a procession through campus. The ceremony took place not outside but in the chapel.

0509ctmrosecommencement1060521640x360.jpg

Charlie Rose at The University of the South

While being presented with the honorary degree, Rose was described as "a son of the South who has established himself as an architect of American culture."

"If only my mother and father could see me now," Rose began his speech, chuckling. "I woke up this morning in the Sewanee Inn and looked out, and there was this remarkable golf course. And I thought for a moment, I thought for a moment, maybe I could squeeze in about nine holes. Then I thought, 'No, I couldn't be late for this.'"

"My life has been spent really asking questions of all manner of men and women, some good and some bad," Rose went on to say. "I can tell you not all heroes are famous. I have never talked to a Medal of Honor recipient -- and they insist on being a recipient and not a winner -- who has not said to me, 'I'm not a hero. I did my duty, and somebody saw me do it -- that's all. My buddies,' they say, 'do it every day.' Put someone else's life ahead of theirs. Fame is way overrated unless you do something good with it."

"I say today as I say in any forum, before any audience and given any opportunity, as I have sat in that darkened room talking to people -- that there are common denominators to the human experience, and we share a range of emotions, from hope to fear, love to jealously. Ambition and complacency. Affirmation and betrayal. Birth and death. These are Shakespearian themes, but they're also life themes and they will be the themes of your life," Rose said.

The "CBS This Morning" co-host finished his speech with these words of wisdom:

"Be crazy, be humble, dream big. Make your story a great story. Make all of us proud of what you can be, what you have been and what you will do. Thank you for allowing me to share this time with you."