Hampton, Va. – Hampton University welcomes actor/comedian Dr. William "Bill" Cosby Jr., one of the most influential performers of our time, as the speaker for the 141st Annual Commencement on Sunday, May 8, 2011.
Commencement will be held at Armstrong Stadium at 10 a.m. The Convocation Center, Student Center and Holland Hall will serve as the rain sites.
Cosby previously addressed the HU Class of 2003 and received an honorary degree from HU that same year. A long-time HU advocate, Cosby provided full scholarships to HU for four young men from Springfield, Mass.
"We are proud to welcome Dr. Cosby back to our 'Home by the Sea'," said HU President Dr. William R. Harvey. "With his passion for education and personal responsibility, I know he will inspire our graduates."
Over the past century, few entertainers have achieved the legendary status of Cosby. His successes span five decades and virtually all media, remarkable accomplishments for a kid who emerged from humble beginnings in a Philly project.
In the 1960s, his stand-up act was a coast-to-coast sensation, spawning a string of hilarious, best-selling comedy albums, which went on to win eight Gold Records, five Platinum records and five Grammy Awards. His role on TV's "I Spy" made him the first African-American to co-star in a dramatic series, breaking television's racial barrier and winning three Emmy Awards. In the 1980s, he again rocked the television world with the "The Cosby Show", a gentle, whimsical and hugely successful series that single-handedly revived the family sitcom.
Cosby obtained a bachelors degree from Temple University, with the goal of becoming a physical education teacher, a master's in 1972 and a doctorate in education in 1977, both from the University of Massachusetts.
With hit movies like "Uptown Saturday Night" and best-selling books like "Fatherhood", Cosby is a national treasure with the unique ability to touch people's hearts.
For more information about HU Commencement visit commencement.hamptonu.edu.