Comedian Bill Cosby lent his powerful name to Call Me MISTER recently when he agreed to serve as honorary chairperson of the MISTER program’s advisory council at Cheyney University in Philadelphia.
The actor-comedian-philanthropist put on one of his lesser-known hats – that of William H. Cosby Jr., Ph.D., educator – for a brunch with participants in Cheyney’s Call Me MISTER program.
Cosby, as honorary chairman of the advisory council for Cheyney’s program, made a presentation to the participants at his hometown school in September.
Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) is a teacher leadership program founded at Clemson University that is aimed at training and placing more teachers from diverse cultures and backgrounds to serve in economically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities.
“We are thrilled to have someone like Bill Cosby associated with our program,” said Roy Jones, national director of Call Me MISTER. “I think he was pleased to see that we are doing something that he’s believed in for a long time. He believes that Call Me MISTER will save lives.”
In it’s ninth year, Call Me MISTER is now found at 15 institutions in South Carolina and 13 institutions in six other states. The director of the program at Cheyney is Howard Jean, one of the original Misters from Claflin University who taught elementary school for several years in South Carolina before moving to Cheyney.
Cosby is a well-known entertainer to generations of Americans with a consistent television presence since his first starring role on “I Spy” in 1965. He has a long list of books and recordings and was recognized with a Kennedy Center Honor in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002. He has a master’s degree and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.