FHU Benefit Dinner to Feature Bill Cosby

MAY 8, 2014

The 50th annual Benefit Dinner at Freed-Hardeman University Dec. 5 will feature famed comedian Bill Cosby, according to Dave Clouse, vice president for university advancement.

One of the most influential performers of the last half-century, Cosby has had an unparalleled career in television. He is also the best-selling comedian of all time on records and his blockbuster books have sold millions of copies. Cosby is also known as a philanthropist. He has made a host of charity contributions, including gifts in support of education, most notably to predominantly black colleges and to various social service and civil rights organizations.

Cosby starred in two television shows, each of which defined an American decade. In the 1960s, “I Spy” broke the racial barrier in television by casting a black man alongside a white man as his equal. His role as the first-ever black lead of a weekly dramatic series garnered Cosby three Emmy Awards. In the 1980s Cosby returned to television with “The Cosby Show.” The portrayal of an upscale, nuclear family that just happened to be black single handedly resurrected the sitcom genre.

Cosby’s success in television has been mirrored in other areas. His “Fatherhood,” published in 1986 became the fastest-selling hardcover book of all time. “Time Flies” has the largest single first printing in publishing history, 1.75 million copies. He has had 21 albums on the national pop charts which have earned him eight gold records and five Grammy Awards.

“Bill Cosby is a legendary comedian and we are very excited about his coming to FHU,” President Joe Wiley said. “We also appreciate his support of education and his strong stance on the importance of families. We fully expect this to be a night filled with laughter, as well as some thought-provoking comments.”

FHU’s Benefit Dinner is typically the state’s largest one-night fundraiser. The 2010 dinner featuring former president George W. Bush holds the record for most funds raised by the FHU dinner.

Sponsorships for the Benefit Dinner, beginning at $600 for the silver level, are available from the FHU advancement office. General admission tickets are $150. All tickets include the dinner and the address by Cosby. Sponsorships come with additional perks. For additional information regarding sponsorships and tickets, call 731-989-6017 or 1-800-FHU-FHU1. Tickets may be purchased at fhu.edu/cosby. All profits from the dinner are used to fund student scholarships at FHU.