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Actress Phylicia Rashad to speak at 150th Commencement
Actress Phylicia Rashad to speak at 150th CommencementJanuary 16, 2004Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Actress Phylicia Rashad will address the 2004 graduates of Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry during joint Commencement exercises to be held May 9 in the Carrier Dome. The ceremony will mark SU’s 150th Commencement.
“I am delighted she will be with us,” says SU Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw. “I know her remarks will be both inspiring and entertaining.”
Rashad was chosen through a selection process designed to give students and others in the University community the opportunity to assist in the decision-making. A student committee made up of the senior class marshals, the student marshals from each of the University’s schools and colleges and the three student representatives to the University’s Board of Trustees coordinated the process, in which suggestions were collected through a Web site and offered directly to the committee. The committee reviewed all potential speakers, then made specific suggestions to Shaw, whose office contracted Rashad as the commencement speaker.
Rashad is best known for her role as Claire Huxtable, the lawyer wife of Bill Cosby’s Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show.” She also played Cosby’s character’s wife, Ruth Lucas, on “Cosby.” She received the NAACP Image Award as best actress in a comedy series for both roles. She has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and has received two People’s Choice Awards.
Rashad’s other credits include television films, “The Old Settler,” “David’s Mother,” “False Witness,” “Jailbirds” and “Polly-Comin’ Home.”
She has also appeared on the series “Touched by an Angel,” “Blossom” and “A Different World.” She has appeared in the feature films “Once Upon a time When We Were Colored,” “Free of Eden,” “Loving Jezebel” and “The Visit.”
As a philanthropist, Rashad backs the work of the PRASAD Project, an international non-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life of economically disadvantaged people by honoring human dignity and fostering self-reliance. She also supports the Children’s Hospital of the District of Columbia, Recruiting New Teachers, and fine arts and education organizations.
A native of Houston, Rashad graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of fine arts degree from Howard University. She has received honorary doctorates from Providence College, Morris Brown College, Clark University and Barber-Scotia College. She is a recipient of the Harvard University Foundation Award. In 1999, she received the Dorothy L. Height Dreammaker Award, sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women Inc. In 2001, she was presented with the Muse Award for Outstanding Vision and Achievement by the board of directors of New York Women in Film and Television.