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Bill Cosby entertains faculty, fans at Paine College

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Hours before showtime Sun­day, fans poured into the Health Edu­cation Activities Learning Complex at Paine College for their chance to see comedy great Bill Cosby.

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Comedian Bill Cosby entertains people at Paine College to show appreciation for the college's faculty and staff at the HEAL Complex.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
Comedian Bill Cosby entertains people at Paine College to show appreciation for the college's faculty and staff at the HEAL Complex.

The university’s faculty and staff sat front and center. After all, they were the guests of honor.

“(Cosby’s) sole purpose for being here is to give thanks to our faculty,” Paine President George Bradley told the crowded arena. “Faculty provides the intellectual resources that are central to moving us
toward our vision of higher education.”

After Bradley left the stage, Cosby emerged in a black Paine College sweatshirt, bringing cheering audience members to their feet.

In the center of the stage sat a chair draped with a shirt that read “Hello, Friend,” an homage to the catchphrase of his late son, Ennis Cosby.

As he sat in the chair and adjusted his microphone, the 76-year-old reminded the audience why he came to Au­gusta.

“I want to do this for faculty,” Cosby said. “To say to all of you, ‘Thank you.’ This is one of the biggest moments for me.”

He then asked the audience to applaud the faculty and staff, and everyone rose to their feet and cheered for nearly a minute.

Cosby isn’t unfamiliar with Paine, having served as a commencement speaker in 2003 and being awarded an honorary doctorate.

He told the audience Sun­day that he has been in contact with several presidents of historically black colleges and universities, but that Paine was the first to invite him to speak to the faculty and students.

During his 1½-hour routine, Cosby covered material ranging from education, marriage and raising children to an eventful trip to South Africa in which he met Nelson Man­dela and had several misadventures.

Sunday’s event attracted several prominent Au­gus­tans, including Georgia Regents University President Richardo Azziz, Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree and other elected officials.

In the bleachers on the left side of the stage sat Ida Jones and Ezell Smith, of Augusta. Smith said they have been fans of Cosby since they were children.

“We were very excited,” he said with a big smile.

Lee Fudge, of Augusta, said his son, a running back on Paine’s reinstated football team, asked him to go Sunday. He said he didn’t argue after learning who the performing act would be.

“I knew I was going to enjoy myself anyways,” he said. “Just to see (Cosby) in person. I’m elated.”

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Young Fred
17448
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Young Fred 08/12/13 - 03:49 am
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'During his 1½-hour routine,

'During his 1½-hour routine, Cosby covered material ranging from education, marriage and raising children to an eventful trip to South Africa in which he met Nelson Man­dela and had several misadventures.'

I'D love to see a transcript of the entire 11/2 hour "routine".

Methinks that the routine may have included a little soul searching.

Riverman1
83433
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Riverman1 08/12/13 - 05:10 am
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Azziz?

I thought the show was by invitation only for Paine faculty and a few others? What was Azziz doing there? Who invited him?

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 08/12/13 - 09:37 am
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All that I
Unpublished

know concerning Mr. Cosby leads me to hold him in high esteem as a man and role model.

seenitB4
86577
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seenitB4 08/12/13 - 09:50 am
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Hahha

Don't be jealous RM because Azziz got an invite & you didn't...maybe next time.:)

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/12/13 - 10:10 am
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I wanted to be the token

I wanted to be the token white guy.

Bizkit
31230
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Bizkit 08/12/13 - 11:58 am
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What faculty? They've

What faculty? They've recently lost a dean and numerous faculty left at the end of last year in every department-many left who want to leave but just haven't found another job. Faculty moral there is very low as I understand.

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