Jasmine Guy, Darryl M. Bell, Cree Summer and Kadeem Hardison — better known as Whitley Gilbert, Ron Johnson, Freddie Brooks and Dwayne Wayne from A Different World — reunited for the first time in years last week for a good cause: awarding $360,000 in scholarship funds to historically black college and universities (HBCUs.)
The yearly event designed by Home Depot’s Annual Retool Your School Campaign does this to “to encourage and recognize innovative projects that contribute to the campuses of accredited HBCUs.” In the nine years Home Depot has been doing this, they have donated $1.8 million dollars to HBCUs.
Student, faculty, employees and community members were encouraged to nominate their favorite HBCUs via social media or on the website. Then, the nominees had to get at least 100 votes to participate in the final contest, where three winners: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place took home $50,000, $40,000 and $30,000, respectively.
The cast of A Different World was there to announce the 2018 winners, four of them even blessed us with a few verses:
A big congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Retool Your School.
For those unfamiliar with the show, A Different World was a spin-off of The Cosby Show during the late 1980s-early 1990s. It followed Denise Huxtable when she left to go to college at the fictional HBCU Hillman, the alma mater of both of her parents and grandparents. The show’s story and characters were progressive and pushed boundaries at the time since no one on PrimeTime television was talking about race and gender issues and certainly no one showcased student life at an HBCU.
You can go back and watch the episode at various digital outlets.