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    Nola Defender

    noladefender.com


    The Lion and the Jewel

    Cook Theatre, Dillard University

    Dillard's Cook Theatre is one of the best-equipped big rooms in town. Following up its effective co-production of Freedom Summer, Dillard is now two-for-two this fall with its official season opener, Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka’s evocative, lyrical The Lion and the Jewel. The work is a romping fable that deepens into unexpected complexity in its meditation on tradition versus modernism. The plot centers on the “Jewel” Sidi (Ariel Lucius), a vain and flighty young beauty of a Yoruba village ruled over by the ferocious chieftain “Lion” Baroka (Rahim Glaspy), who at age 62 seeks to make her the latest of his many wives. Baroka’s rival is the naïve but passionate schoolteacher Lakunle (Leon Delorch), representative of the forces of Westernized progress. The other principals are Baroka’s sly head wife Sadiku (LaSharron Purvis) and Ailatu (Destani Smith), his former favorite, who loses her place with Baroka because of her jealousy.

    In recasting a sweeping cultural clash as a mere romantic triangle Soyinka advantages himself of the same reductiveness that writers have relied on forever. Yet, with the The Lion and the Jewel Soyinka restores much breadth and depth to its subject through the expansive poetry of his writing. Soyinka’s characters simply can’t stop talking about who they are, what they believe, what they want… and it’s not exhausting, because his lyricism rivals Shakespeare’s. (No, I’m not kidding.) This is gorgeous stuff, and the Dillard students are just equal to it.

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    2014 New Orleans Film Festival: Pitch Perfect PDF Print E-mail
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    Dillardfilm Senior Edward Buckles faced the stiffest competition yet in the pressure-soaked documentary section of the PITCH PERFECT competition of the 2014 New Orleans Film Festival and won 2nd place! THIS MAKES DILLARD "4 for 4" (winning or placing) in 3 years of competition! Buckles documentary idea KATRINA BABIES, a "where are they now doc on his friends who have succeeded and failed because of Katrina" impressed the judges--from a head of Kickstarter(!) to Will French of Film Production Capital(!).
    "I have never been so proud," states Keith Alan Morris of Dillardfilm. "Edward really delivered and had the audience rooting for him--and the competition in documentary (portion) has never been tougher.  I liked that he gave Dillard Theatre credit in his acceptance speech as Dillard tries hard to be a holistic environment for creatives."
    Edward Buckles takes home $500 for his win.
    Title:
    2nd place winner, 2014: EDWARD BUCKLES (documentary division - titled "KATRINA BABIES")
    He joins PAST DILLARD WINNERS: 
    ERNEST ROBERTSON (1ST PLACE NARRATIVE 2011)
    CHRISTINE MAIDEN (TIE--2ND PLACE NARRATIVE 2011)
    EJAAZ MASON (2ND PLACE NARRATIVE 2012)
    2013 NO ENTRANT
    2014 EDWARD BUCKLES
    Photos on Twitter @dillardfilm  
    Higher rez available upon request.
    Kickstarter has already contacted us today about a partnership! This will benefit his film, the students, and the faculty's.
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    Norward Roussell, '60, Leader of Selma Schools in Turbulent Time, Dies at 80 PDF Print E-mail
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     New York Times


    Norward Roussell, who in 1987 arrived in Selma, Ala., as the city’s first black superintendent of schools with aspirations to equalize educational opportunity — only to be fired three years later amid racial animosities, protests and a school boycott that recalled the historic Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march of 1965 — died on Monday in Selma. He was 80.

    The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome, a type of bone marrow cancer, his daughter, Melanie Newman, said.

    By the time Dr. Roussell came to Selma, blacks owned businesses and held administrative positions like postmaster, and many whites hoped that the bloody attack on demonstrators by club-wielding state troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge that had horrified the nation was distant, shameful history.

    “We were wrong,” Joe Smitherman, who was first elected mayor of Selma in 1964 as a supporter of George C. Wallace, Alabama’s segregationist governor, and served for 38 years, said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times in 1990. “And I don’t know how to say it better than that. And I was part of that wrong.”

    In Selma, Dr. Roussell (pronounced ROO-sell), who had been a top administrator in the New Orleans school system, chose to take on a very touchy educational issue: the “leveling” or “tracking” of students by ability. Poor minority students had tended to end up in the lowest of three groupings, and black parents had been protesting that their children were segregated into inferior instruction.

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    Member Spotlight: Peter Stevenson at Dillard University has become a pro at turning disadvantages into advantages PDF Print E-mail
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    By Simon Bravo, Nazifa Islam, and Erin O’Sullivan | October 8, 2014

    nirsa.org


    Upon meeting Peter Stevenson, Director of Recreation, Health, and Wellness at Dillard University, you realize very quickly that you are in the presence of one of those individuals who—as if through magic or sheer willpower—is able to transform the resources available to him into much more than just the sum of their component parts.

    At the top of his game

    With over 20 years of experience in higher education and the private sector of health, wellness, and recreation—his current work with the Tulane Prevention Research Center's Community Advisory Board surely benefits from his experiences working in community recreation and wellness-based settings—Peter now exercises his knowhow in service of Dillard University and the broader New Orleans’ community.

    martial arts clubPeter first met Dillard’s newly appointed Chancellor at the 2010 Emerging Recreational Sports Leaders Conference, which was being held on Dillard’s campus. Dillard had been without a dedicated campus recreation department or consistent programs for years, and so the Chancellor was surprised when Peter explained Dillard’s integral role in the founding of an association that currently supports hundreds of institutions, thousands of professionals, and millions of students across North America (learn moreabout NIRSA’s history). Shortly after that meeting, Peter was offered the chance to bring his diverse skill set and strong community ethic to New Orleans by heading up Dillard’s Department of Recreation, Health, and Wellness.

    In July of 2011, Peter recalls, he took over a department with “four treadmills, four ellipticals, and a weight room filled with donated weights that I brought down with me from Jackson in a U-Haul truck.” It truly was a frontier; there were no organized recreation programs in place, no website or mission statement, and Peter’s own position was only made possible by a grant that wasn’t guaranteed to exist beyond a handful of years.

    Serving a diverse body of around 1,200 students, Dillard University’s Department of Recreation, Health, and Wellness, Peter beams, “now offers students 20-25 programs a semester; access to swimming 5-6 days a week; participation in the Tennis On Campus program; volleyball, soccer, badminton; free movie screenings every other week” since the department—i.e., Peter—manages anASCAP-licensed movie theatre; “bowling; intramurals in xx sports a semester; access to a handful of club sports, including a nationally decorated martial arts club; nutrition and cooking classes; personalized fitness instruction; priority access to the integrated wellness clinic; an indoor track; considerably expanded free weight and cardio equipment; and so much more.”

    And not unlike other colleges and universities of a similar profile, he’s doing all of this on a shoestring budget and with the added, if expected, complications that come with sharing facility space with an Athletics Department that serves a much smaller percentage of the university’s students yet is still given first priority in scheduling.

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    Dillard to host Black Male Summit PDF Print E-mail
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    By Jed Lipinski, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune 
    Follow on Twitter 
    on October 03, 2014 at 3:30 PM, updated October 03, 2014 at 4:00 PM


    scientist2Dillard University is partnering with St. Augustine High School to host a "Black Male Summit" on the university's campus on Oct. 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. The goal of the summit is to allow students and officials to discuss issues related to black male success in New Orleans in light of recent incidents between law enforcement and black males around the country.

    In a statement, Dillard president Walter Kimbrough referenced the shootings of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Mike Brown in Missouri as evidence of the "complex history" between black males and law enforcement. The summit, he said, will provide an opportunity to "improve those relationships so that we can avoid unarmed black men from being killed, by anyone. 

    The summit will feature a panel of officials and experts including Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Interim Superintendent of Police Michael Harrison and Criminal Court Judge Benedict Willard. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place inside Dillard's Dent Hall. For more information visit www.dillard.edu.


     
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