“Syracuse University alumnus Taye Diggs never forgets his roots.
The award-winning actor surprised the School of the Arts (SOTA) in Rochester with a $82,500 donation on Wednesday, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. Diggs, SOTA’s most famous graduate, appeared in a video call to tell faculty that they would each receive up to $750 in supplies for their classrooms, thanks to the education fundraising platform AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores, formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for School of the Arts,” Diggs reportedly said. “My mother was a teacher and there has always been a large place in my heart for teachers. I was able to experience the power and influence that teachers have when I went to School of the Arts. What teachers do is incredible and I wanted to thank you.”
“School of the Arts made and left an impression on me,” Diggs said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today were it not for School of the Arts, and even more important the teachers… My years at School of the Arts were the best time of my life.”
Diggs, 50, grew up in Rochester and attended SOTA, a secondary school for grades 7-12 in the Rochester School District, before graduating from SU’s drama department in 1993. He went on to star in Broadway’s “Rent,” TV shows like “Private Practice” and “All-American,” and movies like “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “The Best Man,” “Chicago” and “Set It Up.”
The D&C reports one of Diggs’ former teachers, MaryLee Miller, now retired, joined the call to say hello to her most famous student. She thanked him for the donations, noting that she sometimes spent more than $1,000 of her own money on classroom supplies in a year….”