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Entertainer and Educator Bill Cosby Urges Men of Morehouse to Work Hard and Honor the College’s Legacy

By Add Seymour Jr.

Educator and entertainer Bill Cosby encouraged the men of Morehouse to keep their noses in their books and their hearts close to the spirits of the past.

“You have a gift of your own,” he said before a standing room audience at Sale Hall’s Chapel of the Inward Journey on Jan. 30. “Find it. It’s not far from you. You don’t have to spend time being dumb…Because every last one of you, your spirit is going to be in this hall.”

Cosby came to Morehouse, where his deceased son Ennis graduated in 1992, to talk to students about the qualities it takes to become Renaissance Men. President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75 has made it a goal for the 3,000 students at the College to become Renaissance Men.

Franklin, who will be inaugurated as the College’s 10th president on Feb. 15, was one of a string of successful alumni who were mentioned during a roll call that gave current students a glimpse at who they are following at Morehouse, but also the kind of men they could become someday.

“We gather together as part of a network and a family,” said Franklin, who received a loud standing ovation. “You are part of that tradition. I expect great things from you.”
Former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher ’63 told of how he came to Morehouse from a poor family in Alabama, but thrived as a man of Morehouse.

“Because at Morehouse, it didn’t matter where you were from,” he said. “It was about where you were going.”

After taking off a maroon letterman’s jacket that covered up a Morehouse sweatshirt, Cosby spoke passionately, seriously and humorously for nearly an hour about his son Ennis who was murdered in 1997, the importance of education and the impact the College’s traditions should have on the students.

But mostly he pushed them to become the best students possible.

“You’ve got a simple shot,” Cosby said. “Why not make the best of it? You are your own star. Don’t blow your dunk. Come on!”

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