Bill Cosby tells UM grads: Get a rebate

May 19, 1992|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Comedian Bill Cosby had a simple message today for the 1992 graduating class of the University of Maryland.

"For the Class of '92, it won't be pretty," he said. "There are no jobs."

As he surveyed the 3,800 members of the graduating classes, he said, "These people deserve a rebate." The graduates cheered.

Mr. Cosby had titled his speech, "Fear," but the message was, "Welcome to the real world."

"There are no courses in valet parking, waitressing or grinding coffee at various coffee houses," he said, suggesting that the only jobs available for this year's college graduates might be menial ones.

"You people are not prepared. You are well-educated and you're cute, but that's not going to get it."

The ceremony at Cole Field House was briefly disrupted by a graduating student who heckled U.S. Labor Secretary Lynn Martin, who received an honorary doctorate.

Mr. Cosby, 54, later singled out the man for some advice.

"Since you already know what needs to be said, I would say to you, 'Go out and get it done,' " he said.

Mr. Cosby came before the class with some impressive academic credentials of his own: he earned a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1977, with a dissertation on using television as a teaching tool.

Mr. Cosby last month completed an eight-season run of "The Bill Cosby Show," in which he played obstetrician Dr. Cliff Huxtable. It was the most popular TV show of the 1980s.

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