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President’s Weekly Messages to Students

The Grammy and the Graduate

The Grammy and the Graduate

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Grammy Awards show on Sunday night was one for the books.  Beyonce became the most awarded artist in Grammy history; there was an incredible celebration for Hip Hop’s 50th anniversary; and I won a Grammy.  Well not me, my doppelganger (twin) Viola Davis. 

(Sidebar: Don’t we look alike??????!!!!!!!)

Because of her win, Viola Davis is also the 18th person (and 6th woman) in history to win four major entertainment awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.  Being an EGOT winner is a very special achievement and signifies that the winner is a stand out in entertainment industry.

Viola wasn’t always a stand out though. In 2022, Viola wrote her memoir entitled Finding me.  She shares about the shame that she experienced because she was poor, and grew up in less-than-optimal living conditions. When Viola was eight, she tells us that she was often chased home from school by a group of boys who threw bricks at her and yelled racist comments. She also shared that that she was shamed for wetting the bed and for not being perfect.  As she grew older and found something she loved- acting- and she pursued her passion.  Now over 50 years later, she is one of the most celebrated actresses in the United States and a stand out in the entertainment field.

KCC students know that your struggles do not define your future.  You may not be in the entertainment industry, but you are on your way to being a stand out in your career and in your life because you are all poised to earn your first degree (an Associates).  Because you can transfer to a CUNY senior college with ease, once you complete your Associates, many of you will be on your way to earning your second degree (Bachelors). But it doesn’t have to stop there and for many of you it will not because there will be a graduate degree (Masters) and (a Doctorate) in your future.  Even though this route may not be in your plans, I want you to know you have everything it takes to accomplish earning these degrees. You also have everything it takes to embark upon a career that you love, work your way to the top, and be a stand out in your professional field.

Viola shared in her memoir that in the midst of her difficult childhood, there were teachers who always looked out for her. KCC students we are looking out for you too.  Not only will we help to support you, but we want you to develop the skills to support and advocate for yourself once you leave KCC and transfer to other institutions or embark upon your career.

I watched Viola make history on Sunday.  She won a Grammy. Now I can’t wait to see the mark you will make in your life, because you will be a college Graduate!

President Schrader

(P.S. Seriously, I think we look alike).  Do you have a  Doppelganger? Let me know who it is?

 The Grammy and the Graduate