A Different World Cast Visits Norfolk State


Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy

Everybody had a good time. Our guests were witty, entertaining, wise and down-to-earth. Just a few of the words used to describe the cast members from the ’90s hit television show, A Different World, when they made an appearance on the NSU campus April 16, for an intimate discussion exploring the importance of higher education and the value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Cast members participating in the event were:

  • Jasmine Guy (Whitley Gilbert)
  • Kadeem Hardison (Dwayne Wayne)
  • Charnele Brown (Kimberly Reese)
  • Cree Summer (Freddie)
  • Darryl Bell (Ron)

Charnele Brown, Darryl Bell and Cree Summer

Janet Roach, news anchor at WVEC Channel 13, served as the panel moderator. Participants could tweet their questions during the event. The discussion examined both the historic and current roles of HBCUs. The event,  sponsored by SunTrust Bank and titled, “It IS A Different World: College Changes EVERYTHING!” benefitted the Access College Foundation and Norfolk State University’s Honors College. Indeed the event was both entertaining, educational and used an open dialogue format to connect themes from the television show to real-life experiences for college and high school students. The L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center was packed with more than 1,500 attendees.


President Moore, Jasmine Guy, Mrs. Moore, Darryl Bell, Cree Summer and Dr. Fontaine

In conjunction with this event, NSU provided prospective students with information about the college application process, gave them the opportunity to meet with NSU faculty and students, as well as tour NSU’s 130-plus acre campus. A Different World helped demonstrate how HBCUs, like NSU, have provided a quality education to generations of individuals. NSU has done so for more than 30,000 alumni for 80 years.

The Access College Foundation is a nationally recognized, award-winning organization that prevails as an expert in the field of college access and post-secondary educational success because of its extensive experience in and vast knowledge of these fields. After more than 27 years in service, Access has assisted more than 50,000 local public school students with enrolling in college, and has secured over $500 million in scholarships and financial aid for these students. The Foundation has awarded $9 million in Access Scholarships, bridging the gap between financial assistance received and the actual cost of college.  As the only provider of school-based college access/success services at 26 public middle schools and 30 public high schools located in Norfolk and surrounding Southside cities, and on 13 Virginia university/college campuses, Access embraced the event as an exciting opportunity to further its mission, as hundreds of local students may be inspired to pursue higher education after attending.

During the “It IS A Different World: College Changes EVERYTHING!” event, five $1,000 scholarships were also awarded. Thinking about your dreams? See how Norfolk State University can help you reach your academic and career goals. Visit http://www.nsu.edu.


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