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Bill Cosby Imparts Wisdom At Tarrytown Dinner Honoring Westchester Scholars

Cosby gives Eula Beck some advice before her speech. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Bill Cosby with Eula Beck and Taylor Ha, the top two students at Woodlands High School. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Bill Cosby said no college was founded so students could get drunk and throw up in the bushes. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Bill Cosby cracks up the crowd at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Who better to talk about the importance of a college education than Bill Cosby?

The famous funnyman was the keynote speaker at the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents annual Carroll F. Johnson Scholastic Achievement Dinner held at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown Wednesday.

The event honors the valedictorian and salutatorians from Westchester and the surrounding area.

Eula Beck and Taylor Ha from Woodlands High School in Hartsdale introduced Cosby, who has a doctorate in education. The girls also had a private meet and greet with Cosby prior to the event.

"I never was a valedictorian or salutatorian," Cosby said in his speech. "I wasn't even in last place. I quit."

Cosby said college can be intimidating as you meet people who have had different life experiences.

"They might talk about going to France or living in a chalet," Cosby said. "And you'll think 'I'm from White Plains. I've never been anywhere, I don't know anything. I want to go home.' "

But Cosby said quitting college is not an option.

"You can't go home," Cosby said. "Your parents are tired of you. Your siblings are too. They want your room and your car."

On a college campus, Cosby said it is important to remain true to yourself. 

"Follow your goals," Cosby said. "The fun of college is studying and knowing it all. I don't know a college founded on getting drunk and throwing up in the bushes. It's not a good idea for you to decide what you need to know."

Cosby said students should not forget what their parents did for them.

"Nobody on that campus or in your dorm will be the kind of person your parents happen to be," Cosby said. "Your parents will be there for you. Don't refuse to kiss your parents in public because your friends are looking."

Ha said she was shocked when she found out she was meeting Cosby.

"He's a very real man," Ha said. "He speaks the truth, he doesn't hold back. And that's a good thing."

Lloyd Newland, president of the Greenburgh Board of Education, said it was a great opportunity for his students to meet Cosby.

"If you give the kids tools, they will soar and make you proud," Newland said.

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