‘The Quad’ Brings Jasmine Guy Back to Campus and It’s a Different World Indeed

The Quad
Annette Brown/BET
Anika Noni Rose as Dr. Eva Fletcher and Jasmine Guy as Ella Grace Caldwell.

She’s back on campus, baby! Thirty years ago, Jasmine Guy played the hilariously snobby art student Whitley Gilbert on A Different World, a spinoff of The Cosby Show set at a black college in Virginia. Now, with BET’s new drama The Quad, Guy finds herself at yet another black university—Georgia A&M—and this time she’s a revered member of the faculty.

“I’ve been around so long, I feel like Eartha Kitt singing that song from Follies—‘I’m Still Here!’” Guy says with a laugh. “They even have me dressing like my mother, right off the rack at Chico’s.” Her role: Ella Grace Caldwell, feisty head of the history department, who forms a sisterly bond with A&M’s first female president, Dr. Eva Fletcher (Anika Noni Rose, below left, with Guy). They fight the good fight in an atmosphere of intense misogyny.

RELATED: Being Mary Jane Returns for Its Fourth Season With a Big Shakeup

“On A Different World, we dealt with AIDS, apartheid and the L.A. race riots,” says Guy. “The Quad also has its finger on the pulse. We’re tackling sexual abuse, hazing, the presidential election. You can’t do a show set on a black campus and not be political.”

The Quad, Series premiere Wednesday, Feb. 1, 10/9c, BET