10:57 AM

Gator Grads Featured on 'The Kelly Clarkson Show'

Mother-Son Graduates Share Story with National Audience


By Mike Emery


The story of Gator Graduates Renita Gray-Taylor and Anthony Taylor continues to inspire audiences across the nation. The mother-son duo made headlines locally and nationally when they shared their tale just prior to Fall 2020's virtual Commencement Ceremonies.

Among those who found the Taylors' story both compelling and encouraging was original American Idol winner and top-rated talk show host Kelly Clarkson. Through previous news stories, she discovered how Anthony Taylor proudly distributed his graduation invitations to family members during a Thanksgiving get-together, and how mother Renita Gray-Taylor revealed that she had secretly been enrolled at UHD without his knowledge.

No stranger to media interviews, the Taylors agreed to appear on nationally-syndicated "The Kelly Clarkson Show" to discuss their respective academic journeys and to offer some words of advice to anyone contemplating higher education. 

“It’s never too late … as long as you’re breathing.”

This message was taken from a family pastor's sermon. It kept Gray-Taylor focused on her degree, and she offers this advice to anyone who thinks it is too late to accomplish a certain goal ... including completing a degree. She shared those words with Clarkson and her audience during the March 3 edition of "The Kelly Clarkson Show."

A video clip with a portion of the interview is included above.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.