Former first lady and other notables inspire new college attendees

Alex Lloyd Gross Photo- Delaware Valley Michelle Obama speaks as Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper listen in the background.

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo- Delaware Valley Bailee Madison

Going to college can be a daunting experience , especially for new students who are fresh out of high school.  Yesterday, May 2, 2018,   several famous people showed up at the Liacouras Center at Temple University.  They were there to speak words of encouragement to Philadelphia School District students who  are going to college. Of course, there were representatives of colleges and universities that showed up as well.

20 or 30 years ago, this kind of event did not happen. Students simply went to college.  Once inside the event, there was a pre show program that consisted of dance groups , rappers and dancers.  About 11:15 AM, the on stage presentation began with the National Anthem. Most of the class was smart enough to stand, and listen to their peers who were doing the performance.  A small smattering of others,  could not be bothered to stand. They were too busy on their cell phones to pay attention. They should bail out now. College is not for them. It’s hard and difficult, not about doing what you feel like.

As the show began, several notables made their way to the media room, to be interviewed. Anthony Mackie,  an accomplished actor known for his work in The Adjustment Bureau and The Avengers just to name a few. Mackie went to The Juliard School.. When asked about the students that have a wide variety of interests they might not know what to major in, he said, “College is there to help you make your decision and you don’t really have to make a decision.  Most of the people who I know that went to college are not working in the field they got their degree in. College is not to show people what you learned, it’s to show people that you are willing to learn.”

Alex Lloyd Gross photo- Delaware Valley A drum line snakes around the floor.
Alex Lloyd Gross- photo- Delaware Valley It was not all talk. Camila Cabello  just one of the many performers who sang.

Nick Cannon was the host of the event. He connected with the crowd, and served as the emcee as people like Questlove and actress Bailee Madison showed up. Madison most recently worked on the Good Witch television series.  She met with the media and also talked about the importance of going to school.  it was not all actors, there were professional athletes like  Dikembe Mutombo who gave inspiring remarks as well.

At times during the show, some kids in the crowd were singled out and brought on stage as the crowd cheered their accomplishments  The  headliners were Michelle Obama, Bradly Cooper and Robert De Niro.    When Di Niro took the stage, he was greeted by rousing applause. “Hey, I’m watching you”, De Niro joked,r eciting the legendary line from the Fockers  movie series he did.

As for Nick Cannon, the host,  one of his first roles was of a drum major in the movie Drum line. He addressed the media.   Shame on the other actors and notables for not coming back to the media area to share their words. They were invited and encouraged, but declined.  That’s the first rule in self promotion. never pass up the  opportunity for self promotion. Michelle Obama  worked the show well, drawing the longest standing ovation from the near capacity crowd.