SAN FRANCISCO (May 15, 2012) – The University of
San Francisco (USF) will confer an honorary doctorate
upon William (Bill) H. Cosby, Jr., comedian and educator. USF President Stephen
A. Privett, S.J. will bestow the degree on Mr. Cosby during graduation
ceremonies for undergraduate students in arts and social sciences on Friday,
May 18 at noon. The ceremony will be held inside St. Ignatius Catholic Church on
the USF campus—located at 650 Parker Ave. (at Fulton Street), San Francisco.
Mr. Cosby’s work and
celebrity have had a positive influence on popular culture, and his talents
have lead to a string of successful television series including The Electric Company, Fat Albert, and The Cosby Show, in which he played one of TV’s most beloved dads,
Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable. His community service has always combined education,
creativity, and philanthropy. In 1998, Mr. Cosby and his wife Camille donated
$20 million to Spelman College, the largest gift ever received by an
historically black college. He also speaks at commencements for prison inmates
who have completed their GEDs, and continues his work on educational
programming and reading initiatives for children.
“Bill Cosby not only makes America laugh, he is a
first rate educator who understands and aggressively promotes the importance of
education, especially for young people for whom college may seem far out of
reach,” said USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. “Bill
has given generously to the cause of higher education and USF is proud and
pleased to recognize and celebrate his generosity of spirit.”
Mr. Cosby overcame a childhood spent in the projects
of Philadelphia where he dropped out of high school, but went on to complete his
GED in the U.S. Navy and later earn his undergraduate degree at Temple
University. He continued to achieve his personal educational goals by earning a
master’s degree and then a doctorate in education from the University of
Massachusetts Amherst. Mr. Cosby plans to speak to USF graduates about being
agents of change in their communities.
In honoring Mr. Cosby with the degree of
Doctor of Humane Letters, USF recognizes his humor, compassion, and commitment
to service during his lifelong work educating and inspiring children and adults.
The University of San
Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and
diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and
faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys
direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city
itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic
mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to
“Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit www.usfca.edu.
To request interviews with USF
President Stephen A. Privett, S.J., please contact Anne-Marie Devine, senior director
of media relations at USF, 415.422.2699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.