After the levees in New Orleans broke late last August, along with everything and everybody else, Dillard University -- a historically black liberal-arts school founded in 1869 -- was flooded and suffered catastrophic damage -- $347.6 million worth. The water alone wrecked the first floor of all of Dillard's dorms, its International Center for Economic Freedom, theater, and Information Technology Center. Wind and fire did further damage campus-wide. In the aftermath, Dillard has lost half its students and has had to reduce faculty and staff by two-thirds.
Thankfully, the story doesn't end there, and there are a couple reasons to have hope for Dillard. The first is symbolic: The campus' many beautiful live oaks survived the storm and remain hearty and hale. The other is substantive: Comedian Bill Cosby is putting on a show on Saturday, October 21st, at The Orpheum theater to raise money for the school. One hundred percent of the evening's profits will go to Dillard's Katrina Scholarship fund. And this isn't a touring show, either. It's a one-off night of comedy, here in Memphis, the location personally selected by the Cos.
It might be chilly that night, so put on your favorite multicolored sweater, get out your checkbook, and head down to The Orpheum for a night of sage comedy and contribution.
Bill Cosby, The Orpheum, Saturday, October 21st, 8 p.m., $49.50-$250