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December 5, 2016

NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University is pleased to announce it is among 24 institutions selected to receive a UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) implementation grant.  Made possible through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., and will work with these select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) to improve job placement outcomes for their graduates.

“These colleges and universities show promise in significantly addressing the urgent challenges facing African American college students and graduates,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO.  “We heartily congratulate Dillard University and the 23 other institutions chosen to lead this important work.”

Dillard will receive $1,000,000 over the next five years to create career pathways that lead to improved 21st century employment outcomes.  Dillard University was chosen for its institutional dedication to improving student and graduate outcomes through guided pathways, curricular enhancement, and integrated co-curricular engagement.

The University also displayed a comprehensive approach to meeting these goals in its proposal, as well as its high level of engagement and capacity to execute its plan.  Dillard was selected in a highly competitive process that initially included nearly 100 applications from minority serving institutions. Carretta Cooke, director of the Dillard Center for Career and Professional Development and Dr. Cleo Joffrion Allen, associate professor and program coordinator of Mass Communication, will serve as project co-leads.

Cooke said, “Our CPI plan will integrate a number of current campus initiatives into a single comprehensive effort that incorporates new strategies as well.”
“By partnering an enhanced academic curriculum with co-curricular and career placement activities, our faculty and staff will collaborate in way not done before at Dillard.  The benefit of that collaboration is that we’ll ensure that our students are combining their academic experiences with career opportunities both on campus and beyond.”
Dillard will also be connecting with a variety of community partners who can provide a thorough understanding of local and national career trends. One such partner, Greater New Orleans, Incorporated (GNO, Inc.), has already committed to the development and implementation of strategies to connect curriculum and career opportunities.  
“Over the past two years, as part of our strategic plan, we identified as a priority defining the Dillard experience and what a Dillard graduate looks like,” said President Walter M. Kimbrough.  
“This grant is a perfect complement to a priority we set before this opportunity was even available.  The excellent timing was additional confirmation that we are preparing Dillard not just for today, but for the future.”
For the duration of the grant, UNCF will provide technical assistance, networking opportunities, and professional development services, as well as promote collective learning from this cohort of institutions to study systemic change as it relates to driving student success and improved career outcomes.
“This concept and approach will be unlike anything on the New Orleans higher education landscape,” Cooke added.  “This is transformational for Dillard.  For the first time, a program will connect our academic affairs and career services to business stakeholders to enhance career readiness and placement in this increasingly competitive job market.”
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NEW ORLEANS –Dillard University’s second-ever #GivingTuesday campaign raised a total of $61,676 for University programs, according to initial reports from the Dillard Office of Development. The amount raised represents 206 percent of the university’s initial $30,000 goal, and a nearly 514 percent increase over last year’s total of $12,010.

Dillard, working in conjunction with the donation-processing platform Network for Good, utilized a massive grassroots effort, engaging its network through phone calls, emails, and social media.  Results from the event should increase as late donations continue to be counted.

The university was able to attract 221 donors, with some providing multiple gifts.

“The success of our #GivingTuesday campaign blew me away,” said Marc A. Barnes, Vice President for Institutional Advancement.  “Our alumni, faculty, staff, students, and friends responded beyond our expectations.  On behalf of everyone at Dillard, I am grateful to all who made an investment in our students’ futures.”

“This is the highest single day of annual fund contributions to the University in our history,” said Interim Development Director Kimberly Woodard.  “Over the past few years, we’ve seen our alumni giving rate more than triple, so we know that the Dillard community understands the value of giving back.  We’re very proud of the results and the impact that these donations will have.”

#GivingTuesday has become an international movement that encourages the support of non-profit and charitable organizations following each Thanksgiving.

“This is truly the season of giving,” added Woodard. “The statement made by our donors is evidence that Dillard is a place that people believe in and that the work done here is making a difference.”

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NEW ORLEANS – Melodic sounds will soon fill Lawless Chapel, when the Dillard University Choir hosts their 80th Annual Holiday Concert on Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The choir will perform with an orchestra and other special guests and soloists will accompany the 60-voice choir. The concert is free and open to the public on Dillard University’s campus located at 2601 Gentilly Blvd.

“This is a unique Dillard tradition that brings the community together each year and is an event that I look forward to in my 41st year as much as I did in my first year,” S. Carver Davenport, the  conductor of the choir, said.    

This year’s special guests will include three Dillard graduates with golden voices, sopranos Kayla Blain Lewis, ‘13, Moniqua Osbey, ’13, and Kayla Boyd, ’15. Autumn Durgan, ‘15, lyric soprano is the assistant director of the choir and Dr. Hezekiah Brinson is the accompanist.

“This concert has a reputation of being one of the best in the city, Davenport said. “Our students are talented with wonderful voices and have given so much of their time in preparing for this special occasion.” He added that it is also an excellent time for the university to give a Christmas present to the community.

The Dillard University Concert Choir is one of the most diverse organizations on campus, with students from around the country, who consistently deliver performances that always captivate the capacity audience in Lawless Chapel.  In 2012, President Barack Obama invited the Dillard Concert Choir to sing for the Holidays at the White House. The thriving and rich musical heritage at Dillard University continues to enhance the cultural lives on its campus, in the community and the nation.

Walter Kimbrough joins college and university presidents from across the nation in penning open letter to President-elect Donald Trump PDF Print E-mail
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Text courtesy Inside Higher Ed 

One hundred and ten college and university presidents have issued a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to forcefully “condemn and work to prevent the harassment, hate and acts of violence that are being perpetrated across our nation, sometimes in your name, which is now synonymous with our nation’s highest office.”

This action is needed, the presidents write, because of the incidents taking place nationwide, including many on college campuses. “In our schools, on job sites and college campuses, on public streets and in coffee shops, members of our communities, our children, our families, our neighbors, our students and our employees are facing very real threats, and are frightened.”

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NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University honored our commitment as host oftonight's Louisiana Senatorial debate. 
Ultimately, and unfortunately, the selection of the next senator from our state became a secondary issue as the focus centered on the University's response to protests on the campus.
At no time did Dillard discourage protests; either by students or members of the community. We shared a dual responsibility of providing a safe space for those protesters and for the orderly management of the event. 
As the time of the debate neared, the protests became less peaceful.  Some members of the crowd attempted to move past Dillard Police and into the debate area. After repeated requests by officers for the crowd to step back and allow the doors to be closed, individuals then began to force their way into the building.  
As a last resort, DUPD made the decision to use pepper spray to stop the advancement of the crowd. After a second attempt to enter the building, officers again utilized pepper spray as a deterrent.  
For the duration of the debate protesters continued to peacefully assemble outside the building. No arrests were made, though three individuals were briefly detained.  
As the protests were proceeding, Dillard Student Government hosted its own Debate Watch Party in the Student Union. Based on observations, there were roughly 50 protesters on hand.  Those numbers were dwarfed by the attendance of the watch party. 
After the conclusion of the debate, a small number of protesters began to block the entryways to the campus. After several requests to disperse, six individuals were arrested for obstructing traffic. One of those six was a Dillard student. They were transported to Central Lockup for booking. 
Dillard University will continue its dialogue with the student body in dealing with the issues brought forth by these events.  While tonight was a great challenge, it is also a great opportunity for our University to grow stronger together. 
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