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Artistry, Hospitality, Power and Friendship
Artistry, Hospitality, Power and Friendship

Dr. Chris Gilmer, President


The National Institutes for Historically-Underserved Students Think Tank has once again come and gone. I miss it already, and I will share more highlights over the coming days.

In addition to being so incredibly proud of our students for so bravely sharing their real-life stories of educational success through great adversity, and in addition to lots of hugs, and smiles, and tears with friends old and new, the other highlight was getting to make homemade biscuits for Tony and Emmy Award Winner Lillias White and her musical director and pianist who just happened to write the dance music for “The Wiz,” Timothy Graphenreed.

Over dinner, Lillias (that’s right, we are first name basis now) remembered her grandmother’s home cooking, and I shared my memories of my Mamaw Sarah’s biscuits. She said she would love to have some of those, so the next morning I got out the iron skillet before daylight and made her some. We served them to her at the Blennerhassett Hotel and she was hooked.

Mamaw would not have known about Tony or Emmy Awards, but she knew about hospitality and friendship. I never dreamed two legends of the American stage world have my Mamaw’s biscuits for breakfast.

Add to that, they very nearly brought down the roof at the Smoot Theatre with their artistry and power, and all in all, that makes for a very satisfactory weekend for this country boy.

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