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Friday, February 27, 2009

Gossett encourages UNCP audience to ‘do the impossible’

By Chris Adams

“Nothing is impossible” was one of the many inspiring messages that award-winning actor and philanthropist Lou Gossett Jr. delivered February 24 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Lou GossettGossett, 73, talked about growing up during segregation and his career as an actor. He spoke to an audience of 500 as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series of the Givens Performing Arts Center.

“At 16 years old, I was given the opportunity to do what I was called to do,” said Gossett.

Gustav Bloomberg’s “Take a Giant Step” (1953) was the actor’s first major performance on Broadway, for which he beat out 400 candidates to land the lead role.

Gossett won an Emmy for his role as Fiddler in the ABC miniseries “Roots” by Alex Haley.

“Early Hollywood was ‘separate,’” said Gossett. “The important thing is to survive for your offspring so they can move ahead.”

Gossett has completed over 80 films and television shows, won multiple Golden Globes and People’s Choice Awards and has connected with fans worldwide.

“Grab young people and teach them self-respect, hygiene and spirituality,” he said. “They’ll be equipped for life.”

Lou GossettGossett continued to promote his message of teaching and grooming for the future.

“A teacher is the most important job in the country,” he said.

He concluded the evening with “may your dreams be golden, wholesome, be in good health and may you pass it along to your children.”

UNC Pembroke students appreciated Gossett’s motivational and inspiring presentation.

“Mr. Gossett’s placement on embracing diversity allowed the students at UNCP to truly understand how fortunate we are to attend such a diverse University,” said Pamela Hughes, a freshman athletic training major.

Michael Severy, director of Student Life, welcomed the audience, followed by an original poem by Trina A. Thoughts and an introduction by Glory Attaochu.

The Distinguished Speaker Series concludes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, with football star and television sports commentator Doug Flutie.

Chris Adams is a senior Mass Communication major.

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