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)—the second-largest university in Houston—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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 60,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.