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    Dillard In The News
    Alumni of closed school hope to become inspiration for today's youth PDF Print E-mail
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    New Orleans -- The 5300 block of St. Charles Avenue is a destination for education. 

    "The remembrances we have, many of us have was the beautiful campus," says Gilbert Academy Alumni Association President Andrew J. Douglas. 

    "We had some nice teachers; some teachers that we will never forget," says Treasurer Myrtle Winbush. "They've all gone on, but we are still here."

    "Most people may be familiar with mid-twentieth century building that houses part of De La Salle High School, but a small plaque at the corner of St. Charles and Valmont Street tells of a much longer history of educational excellence.

    "It was enjoyable just to go to Gilbert, being on St. Charles Avenue, catching the streetcar every morning going to school and coming back," says Winbush. "Walking back or coming back 53 blocks.... can you imagine!"

    "We were called the elite of New Orleans, but we just say we were doing what comes naturally," says Douglas. "We were taking advantage of training that we had and we tried to pass it on to others and that's the legacy of Gilbert Academy.  The great tradition which has been handed on to us."

    With alums like famed musicians Ellis Marseillus and Harold Baptiste.
     
    "We had Lolis, Edward, Eli, a number one civil rights lawyers who fought for equal opportunities here in New Orleans and he represented all those in SCLC and the freedom riders here in New Orleans," says Douglas. "He and Robert Collins."

    And the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal Audrey "Mickey" Patterson. The school produced scores of people that excelled in many fields.

    "Everybody thinks that Andrew was the only person that succeeded at Gilbert, and that's not true," says Gilbert.

    Reverend Andrew Douglas is referring to Ambassador Andrew Young, also a Gilbert alum.

    Reverend Douglas is the president of the alumni association.

    "We were under the auspices of the Methodist Church and we started really in 1875 and in 1949 it closed," says Douglas.

    The campus was originally the site of New Orleans University one of only three institutions of higher learning for African Americans in the state in the late 1800's.

    "This was a black educational institution," says Douglas. "One where high school kids were taught anatomy and physiology which was unheard of in a public school for African Americans."

    Reverend Douglas met with Myrtle Winbush, the associations treasurer and Wilehemenia Blanchard at Dillard University in preparation for their academy reunion.

    "I finished just before school closed in 1949 and it's been 63 years," says Winbush.

    Nearly 40 alums converge from across the country. . .most are in their 80s.

    "We have about 41 registered now," says Douglass. "We are going to have no less than 39. Now remember we are up there in our 70s.  I'll be benevolent about that.  I'm in my 80s and my sister in law is in her 80s also."

    The physical end of the school did not cut off it's influence.

    "I was really sad about it and I think that the reason why we having these reunions every two years to bring back the memories and don't let Gilbert Academy die," says Winbush. "We got it living."

    "Our principal told us, always taught us you're just as good or maybe better than many people so don't think of others as being superior to you," says Douglas. "You are just as good as they are. We never lost that, we remember that.  Just being on that campus, being in that school meant so much to us. You can't know it unless you experienced it.You can't have that feeling."

    Reverend Douglas believes Gilbert's legacy should be an inspiration to kids today.

    "We need to know that as African American youth, we need to know that if you are trained properly and right you are going to succeed," says Douglas. "It doesn't matter where you come from. I came from Central City so you know where that is Third and Daneel.

    Even as an octogenarian he beams with pride for his alma mater.

    "I get excited because I know what it did for me," says Douglas. "It was $2.50 a week, a month to go there, and I had friends who said their parents said to them I can't afford to send you among them rich people and god knows we were not rich, but our parents saw the need to send us to Gilbert Academy and I'm deeply appreciative of that."

    An appreciation Douglas and his fellow alums plan to continue to honor through their lives and hopefully beyond.

    The Gilbert Academy Alumni Association sponsored the historical plaque on St. Charles Avenue and have raised money for a scholarship in the academy's memory for a Dillard University student.

    Click here to read this article on fox8live.com


     
    Thursday's Financial Tips Kem Cents by Kemberley Washington, CPA PDF Print E-mail
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    Kem WashingtonAt payday, many of us begin budgeting from our net pay. We often neglect to consider how we can make adjustments to increase our take home pay or even review what is actually being deducted. As a result, we may settle for certain taxes, deductions, and other payments which may not benefit us at all.

    Do you know you can increase your take home pay by making necessary adjustments to your tax withholding?

    Check your allowances
    S1, S2, or M3 – what does it all mean? Your tax deductions depend solely on the information you provide to your human resources department via your W-4 form. This form determines the amount of taxes to be deducted from your check. If you withholding too much, you should increase your allowances. For example, if you currently claim S1 (single and one allowance) or M1 (married and one allowance), you should increase the number of allowances to reduce the amount of taxes being withheld from your paycheck.

    Don’t let the government use your money interest free
    Now keep in mind, the number of allowances does not have to necessarily equal the number of exemptions you claim on your tax return. As a matter of fact, to get the most of your money it should probably be more! Why is that? Because at the end of the tax year, it is advantageous to break even instead of getting a refund. Think about it, if you are getting a tax refund year after year, you are essentially allowing the federal government to hold your money and give it back to you interest free! Consider making adjustments to your allowances and utilizing the money to pay down debt, save, or invest. Isn’t that a better use of your money?

    There is an app for that
    Before you head over to the human resources department, take a moment to determine the correct amount of taxes you should deduct. Be careful! Make certain you do not underestimate your tax liability, this could potentially lead to additional penalties and interest. There are many sites, tools and apps available to help you. A great way to determine the correct withholding tax is to use the IRS withholding calculator. This withholding calculator allows you to enter your projected income and deductions to determine the correct number of allowances to claim in order to break even at year-end.

    Remember, your choice, your future!

    Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. Follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog at kemberley.com.

     
    Former Dillard Board member and native New Orleanian named CEO of Carnival Corp. PDF Print E-mail
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    g4P90.Em.56With a professional history steeped in agricultural technology and sugar substitutes, Arnold Donald seems an unlikely choice for chief executive of the world’s largest cruise ship company.

    But it was his history at a variety of companies, nonprofits and executive boards — and his “fresh perspective” — that made him the pick to fill Micky Arison’s shoes as Carnival Corp. CEO. Arison will hold on to his role as chairman.

    After deciding to step down as CEO as the company split the two roles, Arison suggested Donald, who has been a member of Carnival’s board for 12 years. Former colleagues spoke highly of Donald, 58, and said he was fit for the job.

    “He’s more than capable of running Carnival,” said Ronald Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council, which Donald led from 2010-2012.

    Parker was a board member of the organization, a forum for African-American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, during Donald’s tenure. With his appointment to CEO, Donald joins a small group of black CEOs of major Fortune 500-level corporations. Carnival Corp. is not on the list because it is incorporated in Panama for tax purposes.

    “He has prepared himself for over 30 years, understands businesses are made of people and he’s known for engaging with a broad spectrum of individuals,” Parker said. “He’s a results-oriented leader who’ll drive sustainable change at Carnival.”

    At the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where Donald was president and CEO from 2006-2008, he brought his expertise from Monsanto, an agriculture and biotechnology company where he worked for more than two decades. He was also chairman and CEO and a founder of Merisant, a sweetener company whose products include Equal and Pure Via.

    “When he came here, he proposed that we put together a research program working with pharmaceutical companies,” said Marie Davis, an executive director at the foundation who has known Donald for more than 15 years.

    Davis said Donald is a delegator, a trait that should serve him well at a company with 10 individual brands.

    “He picks leaders and expects them to put a plan together,” she said. “He doesn’t micromanage.”

    Donald currently serves on several boards, including Bank of America Corp., Crown Holdings; Laclede Group, Carleton College and several arts institutions in St. Louis, where he lives. He is married with two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.

    His time as a board member at Dillard University, a historically black college based in New Orleans, coincided with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the campus.

    Board member Andrew Wisdom said board members considered tough choices, including moving the college to Atlanta. But Donald, a native of New Orleans, was among those who took action to raise money and rebuild.

    Click here to read the article on the Miami Herald website.

     
    Judge Yolanda J. King, '79, to be Sworn in at Dillard Monday, June 24 PDF Print E-mail
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    The Honorable Yolanda J.  King, a Dillard graduate from the Class of 1979, will take the oath of office as Judge of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Section “E” on June 24, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium.
     
    King was elected on May 4, 2013, and brings more than 20 years of legal experience to bench.  E=before being elected, King held a number of judicial and administrative positions including Administrative Law Judge with the Division of Administration in Baton Rouge, La.; Assistant District Attorney with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office; Law Clerk for current Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, ’71, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; as well as research attorney for several prominent judges including Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
     
    The campus community is invited to attend.
     
    Maxwell: Historically black colleges still have a role, Dillard University president notes PDF Print E-mail
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    WMK 2-20122Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, is known for his no-nonsense leadership style, fresh ideas and willingness to speak publicly about the plight of historically black colleges and universities. When hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre donated $30 million to the University of Southern California in May, Kimbrough wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times arguing that the gift would have best served an HBCU. I spoke with Kimbrough about Dr. Dre's gift and other HBCU-related issues.

    What are your basic concerns with Dr. Dre's gift?

    Kimbrough: I always acknowledged that it is his money, and he is free to do as he pleases. But my question was whether that large sum of money could be better used somewhere else. I speak as an HBCU president. Our average family income is $31,000 a year, and 76 percent of the students receive the Pell grant. USC is already a wealthy school. Their $3.5 billion endowment generates enough interest in three months to cover my annual operating budget. If major gifts only go to wealthy schools that increasingly enroll wealthy and privileged students, aren't we exacerbating an already serious problem of inequity, especially for groups that will become the majority?

    What are the biggest challenges for HBCUs, public and private, if they are to remain viable?

     

    First, there is just a larger pool of schools for black students to choose from. A recent report indicates that a great number of blacks are doing for-profit, online programs. While this provides great flexibility in taking classes, it is very expensive, so people are finding themselves in greater debt, often not finishing their degrees. But the point I also make is that HBCUs have been more resilient than other specialty schools. For example, women's colleges numbered 300 in 1960, and now there are fewer than 45. Studies suggest less than 2 percent of women look for an all-women's experience, while still 25 percent of black students attend an HBCU as undergraduates. The other major issue is that HBCUs serve the population that has little wealth, lower incomes and higher unemployment. When this is your community you serve, you're going to have financial issues.

    What do HBCUs do well?

     

    I think the biggest thing we do well is to provide a real opportunity for success for students who may have had all the cards stacked against them. This is the only sector that really prides itself on admitting low-income, first-generation students and working to get them prepared to be competitive. It is definitely a hard job, which is why graduation rates are lower, as they are for all schools that enroll a high percentage of low-income students. But for the future of the nation, we have to do a better job of taking these students and preparing them to be successful citizens.

    Will the United States always need HBCUs?

    I think there will always be students who want an HBCU experience. I definitely believe there will be fewer HBCUs. But if people really want to end HBCUs, they should focus more on recruiting black students and making them feel welcome at majority institutions. There are still numerous incidents every year on college campuses, including USC this year, that remind black students that this is not your school. So the message seems to be we don't want HBCUs, and we really don't want black students on our campus either. None of the folks who attack HBCUs fight to make sure all campuses are welcoming to black students. And until that happens, HBCUs will be needed.

    What about the low graduation rates of HBCUs we hear a lot about?

    HBCUs enroll the highest percentage of low-income students in the nation. It is a job that no one seems to want, and since U.S. News rankings reward schools for limiting underrepresented minorities, older students and poor students, the quality of the schools are constantly questioned. People compare graduation rates of schools with fewer than 20 percent of the students receiving the Pell grant against those that have high Pell grant populations. All the research shows that as you increase the number of poor students, graduation rates decline. It is as simple as that. If people would look at the Washington Monthly rankings, which measure impact of schools, you find that HBCUs are just as productive as other schools, maybe even more so.

    Click here to read article on Tampa Bay Times

     
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