Henry L. Aaron

Commencement May 19, 2013

Honorary Degree: Doctor of Letters
Conferred on William H. Cosby, Jr.

Candidate presented by Dr. Arnold L. Mitchem, Member of the Marquette University Board of Trustees and President, Council for Opportunity in Education

William H. Cosby, Jr., was born to William and Anna Cosby on July 12, Germantown Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Calling himself a “late bloomer,” he did not realize the value of a formal education until after the first four days of boot camp in the U.S. Navy. Cosby said, “Four years later in May, when I got out of the Navy, I hit the ground running from Norfolk, VA and immediately enrolled at Temple University in Philadelphia.”

Bill Cosby is well known for his commitment to education. He emphatically believes that the best assurance for a satisfying and rewarding life begins with knowledge. Cosby himself went back to college, long after he had achieved much of his success, to obtain a master’s degree as well as an Ed.D. degree. He has, in fact, applied this further education in his professional life.

He has never stopped realizing the importance of challenging himself. “People always say ‘You don’t need money, why are you still working?’ My answer is that it isn’t about money. That’s academic. It’s about accepting the challenges of one’s own ideas, clarifying the unanswered questions and pursuing the excitement of discovery.”

“It is always a pleasure to see those fresh faces of the new graduates. It’s also fun to notice the relieved smiles of the parents who are wondering, ‘Are they going to be all right?’ The unanswered questions are now really directed at them.”

Mrs. Cosby is equally passionate about the importance of education and she too has attained an Ed.D degree. Together, they have strived to promote the importance of a good education. They have donated funds to a wide range of universities and delivered commencement addresses to further emphasize the importance of learning.

“Rationem educationis tuae reddere debeas.”

Because of his unparalleled contributions to American television and humor, his ability to inspire millions with his talents, and in recognition of his unwavering commitment to the importance of education, Reverend President, I hereby recommend William H. Cosby, Jr., for the Marquette University degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.


University Honors