Jasmine Guy, Bill Cosby, HBCU

Jasmine Guy Hopes Bill Cosby’s Legacy With HBCUs Still Stands

The actress is hopeful that Bill Cosby's contributions to HBCUs like Spelman College won't be erased from the history of Black education.

Despite Bill Cosby’s criminal convictions, A Different World actress Jasmine Guy is acknowledging the educational contributions the actor has made to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) over the years.

Speaking to “Page Six,” Guy remembered Cosby’s pivotal role in bringing attention to these institutions established to provide higher education for Black American students. A Different World‘s main character, Denise Huxtable, attended a fictional HBCU named Hillman College, which Guy described as Cosby’s “brilliant” idea, to “put HBCUs on the map.”

As part of their HBCU College Tour kickoff in March, the cast of A Different World visited Spelman College in Atlanta, which served as the backdrop for the Hillman College campus in The Cosby Show spinoff.

Spelman’s records reveal that the show’s producers visited in 1992 to discuss script ideas with students. Years later, the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center and the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art were established with support from the Cosbys, who announced a donation of $20 million in 1987. By 1999, the college noted it was ranked by BLACK ENTERPRISE as the No. 1 best environment for Black collegians.

However, the all-women college severed ties with Cosby after multiple women accused him of sexual assault. BLACK ENTERPRISE covered the 2015 announcement that revealed Spelman had discontinued the professorship endowed by Cosby and returned funds to the Clara Elizabeth Jackson Carter Foundation established by his wife, Camille Cosby. This decision came shortly before Cosby’s conviction for the 2004 sexual assault accusations of Temple University executive Andrea Constand, for which he served three years in prison.

Since his release in 2021, Cosby and his wife have faced financial turmoil, forcing them to scale back from their lavish lifestyle after being hit with several lawsuits and tax liens, BE noted in 2023.

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