Bill Cosby P’87 donned a black sweater with a red Wesleyan “W” and performed for a sold-out crowd in Crowell Concert Hall on Friday night. Cosby’s performance raised over $75,000 for Green Street Arts Center’s After School Arts and Science Program, and at the end of the performance President Michael Roth announced a student scholarship at the University in Cosby’s name.
The money raised for Green Street Arts Center will help to support their initiative to provide programs to students regardless of economic backgrounds.
“The majority of our students would not be able to participate without scholarship support,” wrote Managing Director of Green Street Arts Center Jessica Carso in an e-mail to The Argus. “Thanks to the incredible funds raised by Cosby at Wesleyan, we are able to continue to grow our program and support each and every one of our students.”
According to Carso, there are currently 71 students enrolled in the After School Arts and Science Program and over 20 students on the waitlist. Carso expects enrollment to increase for the spring semester.
During the standing ovation at the end of Cosby’s performance, Roth came on stage to announce the new scholarship.
“We are delighted that Wesleyan students are participating, and again we want to honor you with a scholarship at Wesleyan,” Roth said to Cosby. “We will award it to a student who we hope will be a tutor, a teacher, a mentor to Green Street students during his or her time at Wesleyan.”
According to Vice President for University Relations Barbara-Jan Wilson, the William H. Cosby Jr. Scholarship will meet the full need of a student during his or her four years at Wesleyan.
Prior to Cosby’s performance, there was a meet and greet at Green Street Arts Center. The presenting sponsors of the event were Joshua Boger ’73, P ’06, ’09 and Amy Boger P ’06, ’09.
During his performance, Cosby talked about parenting, kids, the Bible, and his perspective on life at age 73. He joked about God punishing Adam and Eve.
“You like fruit so much, you’ll bear it,” Cosby said. “God cursed them with what? Children.”
Shelby Rogerson ’78 P’11 watched the performance with her two children.
“I thought the show was great – typically stream-of-consciousness Cosby – with deliberate start and end points and a lively, amorphous, candid adventure in between,” Rogerson said. “He has a gift for shedding light on and actually saying things which we as parents all at some point or another think, but for various PC or pick-your-battle reasons don’t say!”
Carso expressed gratitude for Cosby’s support.
“It was an incredible evening for Green Street and we are so grateful for Dr. Cosby’s support by donating his time and talent to us,” she wrote.