Thank You, Kennington

With Co-Founder and chief executive producer, Kennington Smith, graduating tomorrow evening, our current EP’s and executive staff would like to commemorate him, thank him, and wish him a farewell.

Brian Lucear:

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You know, the crazy thing is it didn’t dawn on me that you were graduating until I sat down to write this. It seems like from the time I stepped onto UGA’s campus I could count on you being there.

I remember before I even officially got here, as a GAAME student, Jamari introduced you as “The Aux God”. Legend told of how you used to get the function going with a laptop and an aux cord before you evolved to DJ Octane, Sanford Stadium music connoisseur.

As a Grady student two years ahead of me, you put me on game. The advice given to me, whether it was how to make connections or what to do in ELITE, never fell on deaf ears.

I appreciate you for taking me under your wing and showing me what’s what. It’s because of you I even got involved with ELITE, and why we’ll never ever let the streets down after you’re gone.

You’re going to do big things when you get out of here. I have no doubt about that. That’s the “93 > 87” way.

Congratulations, Big Homie.

Tyree Brown:

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“I’m Kennington Smith, But just call me Kenny,” he tells to a young freshman male with his head held high in the clouds but his feet firmly planted on his new stomping grounds(no pun intended). But these new grounds were not yet mine, they were his.

These grounds belonged to a man that not only used his words, but his writing, and not only his writing, but his music, to fill this campus with a type of sound that only a UGA student would understand.

And while this campus will forever value the mark and legacy that Kenny will leave, I feel that mark has best found its place on my resume. As funny as this may sound, I owe a large portion of my successes to him.

Would I have obtained my first internship without his recommendation? Would I have written my first online article without his organization? Or would I have even been aware of the T. Howard Foundation without his generous knowledge?

I guess you never truly realize how much of an impact someone has on you until you sit back at their Rite of Sankofa Graduation and think of all the things that not only affect you, but every single person around you. It takes a special person to live each day as a DJ, a mentor and a friend, and never breath a word of their success.

Then again, we never really needed an explanation of his character, a rundown of his career, nor a list of his accomplishments.

And while he still has a couple of hours left on this University of Georgia campus, let’s us celebrate his past, commemorate the present and pray for his future. Congratulations Kennington “But Just Call Me Kenny” Smith. We wish you the best.

Congratulations Kennington “But Just Call Me Kenny” Smith. We wish you the best.

Cheyenne Brown:

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Kenny, Kenny, Kenny,

I remember the very first time I met you a few years ago at the Grady Games you were so sweet and goofy. I will never forget you trying to go up for a spike and busting your behind on the wet grass in front of everybody.

Who would have known that that same guy from years ago would become such a huge piece of my heart today?

Kennington Lloyd Smith III, I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done for me. You have truly been a blessing in my life. Even when I doubted myself you always believed in me. You always told Tyree, Brian, and I that all you ever wanted is for us to be better than you. But Jesus Christ, Kenny that is a lot to amount to.

You always talk about how you barely do any work in your classes and still succeed. You get internships and opportunities, so easily and never know how. It is because you are a natural.

Literally, it does not even make sense how easily the things I struggle most with come to you. I appreciate you for calling me a buffoon because sometimes I can be, I know. I appreciate you for always being upfront with me and honest.

I really look up to you, you are my role model. You are going to do great out in the real world, I know you are. Your name is Kennington Lloyd Smith III, you bound to be some type of successful with that name. There is no way you can possibly fail with that name alone. I have faith in you, we have faith in you.

Honestly, I have been dreading the day for you to leave. I am going to miss barging into 704 and bothering you. I am going to miss you randomly staring at me and when I look back you say what. I am going to miss you jumping on top of me for hugs. And most importantly I am going to miss you.

Thank you for being a true friend. Love you forever and always

Sammy Smith:

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Honestly, I’ve been staring at my computer for an hour trying to find the words to write. And just as I wrote that, a little tear rolled down my face.

When I was going into my sophomore year of high school, my mom signed me up for Sports Broadcasting Camp, and I fought her on it every step of the way because I just wanted to hoop all summer, but she made me go.

Then, I walked into that hall in Emory University and met you, and little did I know I had just met one of my best friends and my brother. From that moment on, I wanted to be like you, be as talented as you, be as creative as you and follow in your footsteps.

You had this aura about you and everyone in that room gravitated towards you. So from that moment on, I wanted to be like you, be as talented as you, be as creative as you, be as charismatic as you and follow in your footsteps. By the end of those five days at camp, we had cultivated a friendship.

It was then that you told me I was up next and I was the future, and you looked out for me ever since. That was six years ago. 

Since then bro, you’ve impacted my life more than anyone else. When it came time for me to decide on

When it came time for me to decide on a college, I thought for sure that I was going out-of-state. I thought Florida State or UNC were for me. Then, I saw you again and you sold me on UGA, sold me on the campus, sold me on Grady and sold me on this dream of ELITE. You said you were going to put me on and you asked me to take a leap of faith, and I did.

And when I first stepped foot on this campus freshman year, the first place I went to was 1516, you introduced me to Akash, Serge, Khari, Fray and Kevin: all of whom I’ve developed friendships with as well.

Everything good that has happened to me on this campus is directly related to you. The internships, the accomplishments, the relationships, the good times —  all you. Hell, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you. I wouldn’t be in this position. I wouldn’t have the friends that I have, and I definitely wouldn’t be the person that I am.

Honestly, I’ve been dreading this day all year. I haven’t experienced UGA without you and it really scares the shit out of me cause I’ve always known that I had you in case things went wrong.

In six years that I’ve known you, I’ve watched you grow as a person, accomplish things that most people never will and achieve each and every dream that you’ve put you mind to. I can’t tell you how proud of I am of you and seeing you graduate tomorrow is going to be bittersweet, but I know that great things are ahead of you.

I just want to thank you for everything single thing you’ve done for me. Thank you for being loyal, and thank you for being a genuinely great influence on my life.

I know I owe my mom an apology because sending me to that camp changed the course of my life. You changed the course of my life and I can never repay you for that.

I know that this isn’t goodbye because family doesn’t say goodbye, and I love you like my blood big bro.

So here’s to the six years of friendship and the many more that we’ll have. Congratulations on all your success big bro. Dynasty Forever.

 

Thank you, Kennington, for all that you’ve done for us and the University of Georgia. You made us all better.  

Sincerely,

ELITE Staff

 

 

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