Appears In: The Cosby Show (1984-1992), A Different World (1987-1993)
"I ain't one of the Cosby's, I ain't go to Hill-man." When Kanye West asserts this on "Can't Tell Me Nothing," he's both tipping his hat to an HBCU that doesn't exist, and providing insight to those who weren't in the know. For anyone still in the dark, Hillman College is the best fictitious college or university. Ever. It was the setting for The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, following Denise Huxtable as she pursues her education at the esteemed HBCU. When she leaves to find herself, Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne became the focal points.The development of their relationship, as it transforms from undergraduate love to holy matrimony, is one of the most storied in television history. Many meet their spouses in college, and these two met at Hillman.
Through Hillman, A Different World explained the black college experience in a different way than School Daze could because it was a weekly program, so it was able to provide greater detail than the show that birthed it. The show's accurate portrayal of how unique the black college experience is also owed to Debbie Allen's time at Howard University, which ultimately gave the show a greater level of authenticity. At Hillman, the student body and faculty were like a family. They pushed and pulled each other through the experience.
Hillman played a prominent role in what are arguably two of the most important television shows ever created, and its introspective look at the black college experience, along with its alumni, easily make it the best fictional college.