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Dillard to Conduct Assessment of its School of Nursing; New Admissions to be Suspended for 2017-18 Academic Year PDF Print E-mail
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Nursing crop

NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University has announced it will conduct a full internal assessment of its generic baccalaureate and LPN-BSN nursing programs.  As a result, the University will suspend admission of new students into the programs for the 2017-2018 academic year.  During the suspension, the program will continue to be evaluated and honed with a focus on the skill development and academic needs of its students.  The primary focus will be raising the performance of students on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

This suspension will not affect the status of those students currently enrolled in the program.

Dr. Yolanda W. Page, Vice President for Academic Affairs, stated such an assertive approach  is necessary to allow administrators to thoroughly review all aspects of the program, including curriculum, staffing, and support mechanisms.

“Dillard University is home to Louisiana’s first BSN program,” said Dr. Page.  “We owe it to our alumni and current students to ensure that the Dillard legacy of excellence in nursing remains intact.”

While suspending the program was a difficult decision, this action serves as an indicator of the University’s commitment to ensuring the program’s viability in the future.

School of Nursing Chair, Dr. Sharon Hutchinson added: “The School of Nursing has been working with and will continue to work closely with the Louisiana State Board of Nursing in getting the program back to the lofty status it has had historically.” 

Because the suspension will affect students enrolling for Fall 2016, making the announcement at this time allows prospective freshmen and their families the opportunity to make a decision about selecting another major.

The baccalaureate nursing program currently has the conditional approval of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Dillard’s VisionQuest Chorale to Perform at 2016 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival PDF Print E-mail
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WHO:             Dillard University VisionQuest Chorale

WHAT:           2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

WHERE:         New Orleans Fair Grounds, Gospel Tent

WHEN:           Thursday, April 28, 5:55 – 6:40 p.m.

The VisionQuest Chorale has provided a singing ministry that works with the Lawless Chapel Ministry of Dillard University. They have ministered for on-campus and non-chapel related events as well as off-campus ministry endeavors.  One of the primary functions of the Chorale is to foster leadership and spiritual development with its members. One of the overall goals of the VisionQuest ministry is to lean toward a holistic synergy of the growth and development of its members. We expect this growth and development in their spiritual walk and their student life here at Dillard. This also includes being the best ministers in song and praise while participating in worship service in Lawless Chapel on Sunday evenings.  The Chorale is making its first appearance at Jazz Fest since 2009.

For more information contact Rev. Earnest Salsberry at 504-816-4555 or visit for a full schedule of events.

Actor and Author Terrence “J” Jenkins to Deliver Dillard University 2016 Commencement Address PDF Print E-mail
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Photo: Terrence “J” Jenkins

NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University holds its 80th Commencement on Saturday, May 7, at 8 a.m., on the historic Avenue of the Oaks.  The University will confer more than 200 undergraduate degrees that day.

The University is proud to announce that actor, philanthropist, and author Terrence “J” Jenkins will deliver this year’s commencement address.  Jenkins may be best known for his seven-year stint on “BET’s 106 & Park” and his starring role as Michael in the films “Think Like a Man” and “Think Like a Man Too.”  Most recently he spent three years co-hosting “E! News” on the E! Network.  In 2013 he published his first book, “The Wealth of My Mother’s Wisdom,” which was an in-depth look at his mother’s journey raising him as a teenager.  In addition to his thriving entertainment career, Jenkins is also a spokesperson for Ronald McDonald’s House Charities Future Achievers Scholarship Campaign, a mentor with Steve Harvey’s Disney Dreamers Academy and an avid supporter of the Newark New Jersey Boys and Girls Club.  The Queens, New York native spent his formative years in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from North Carolina A & T University.  Jenkins is also a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

This year’s honorary degree recipients are President of the Ray Charles Foundation, Valerie Ervin and actor Garrett Morris ’58 (“2 Broke Girls,” “The Jamie Foxx Show,” “Saturday Night Live”).

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.05.09 PMValerie Ervin began her career hand-selected by international music icon Ray Charles to serve by his side and today stewards his legacy as president of the foundation that bears his name.  She played an important role in the production of the Oscar-winning film “Ray” and in the release of the best-selling album “Genius Loves Company,” featuring duets with Mr. Charles and some of music’s most legendary names.  Ervin also orchestrated the establishment of the Ray Charles Memorial Library, the U.S. Postal Service’s Ray Charles Forever Stamp, the naming of a Los Angeles USPS branch in Charles’ honor, and the recognition of his RPM Building as a historic site.  Today, she oversees the work of the Ray Charles Foundation in the fields of hearing and education that began some 30 years ago, including the Dillard University Ray Charles African-American Material Culture Program, which was established by Charles in 2003 to help preserve the unique culinary traditions and culture of New Orleans and the South.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 5.05.20 PMGarrett Morris, who has been entertaining audiences for nearly six decades, is a native New Orleanian and proud Dillard alumnus.  After graduating from Dillard he attended Manhattan School of Music and studied voice for five years at Julliard.  His professional career as began as a performer with the Harry Belafonte singers, with whom he performed for a decade.  During this time Morris branched out into acting, appearing in both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of “Porgy and Bess,” “Show Boat,” “The Great White Hope,” and others.  He took on his most-well known role in 1975 as one of the original cast members of the landmark sketch-comedy series “Saturday Night Live.”  Since leaving SNL in 1980, Morris has been a fixture on television.  He is also the playwright of two original works, and in 2014 he added recording artist to his list of credits, releasing the CD “Black Creole Chronicles,” with jazz musician Billy Mitchell.  Morris currently resides in Los Angeles, where Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa honored him in 2007 for his work and contributions to the black community.

Each of this year’s honorary degree recipients will be conferred a doctorate of humane letters by Dillard President Walter M. Kimbrough.

“Our honorary degree recipients are all extremely accomplished in their fields and are embodiments of the type of success that should inspire our graduates,” says Dr. Kimbrough.  “They also reflect Dillard’s enduring commitment to the arts and celebrate the transformative power of the platform that each of these individuals have worked so hard to reach.”

As part of the commencement ceremonies, the University will also present Golden Citations to members of the Class of 1966, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

For more information on the 2016 Dillard University commencement ceremonies, and for a copy of the commencement guide, visit

Dillard University president Walter Kimbrough honored with 2016 Advocate for Higher Education award PDF Print E-mail
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NEW ORLEANS – Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University, was honored with the 2016 Advocate for Higher Education Award by the Counselors to Higher Education section of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA CHE) at a dinner in New Orleans on Wednesday evening.

Kimbrough then delivered the Patrick Jackson Lecture to an audience of more than 175 university communications and marketing professionals. In his remarks, Kimbrough emphasized the need for universities to articulate a clear and bold mission, and he encouraged university presidents to take a stand on the important issues of the day in higher education and in society.

The lecture was sponsored by Merit, whose platform connects the dots from high school to college to career for nearly 1.4 million students at 250 colleges by sharing the unique stories of their personal collegiate experiences with Merit’s network of legislators, high schools, local newspapers, and families. Amy Mengel, Merit’s vice president of marketing and a member of the PRSA CHE national executive committee that selected Kimbrough for the award, introduced Kimbrough.

“Walter is the embodiment of higher education advocacy,” said Mengel in her introductory remarks. “His larger-than-life presence on Twitter makes him a relatable figure that helps audiences connect with him in a personal way, and allows him to deliver important messages about equity and access in our higher education system today.”

indexKimbrough is the first leader of a historically black college or university to receive the award, which was created in 2009 to recognize an individual who has done the most to advocate on behalf of America’s higher education system. Previous winners have included Teresa Sullivan, president of the University of Virginia; Mary Sue Coleman, president emerita of the University of Michigan and now president of the Association of American Universities; Rebecca Chopp, chancellor of the University of Denver; Hunter Rawlings, interim president of Cornell University; and Mark Yudof, former president of the University of California system, among others.

Mengel noted that Kimbrough was unanimously selected by PRSA CHE’s national executive committee, made up of senior communications leaders at more than a dozen top colleges and universities in the US.

“Walter is not afraid to advocate for students and institutions that have often been ignored or marginalized,” Mengel said. “Last summer, he penned a compelling piece in InsideHigherEd questioning the value of mega-gifts to already wealthy institutions, and drawing stark comparisons to how much more impactful that money could be at institutions that are serving higher percentages of Pell-eligible students, first-generation students, and students from low-income families. Walter is a powerful voice in higher education.”

Kimbrough was named the seventh president of Dillard University in 2012, after previously serving as president of Philander Smith College in Arkansas for seven years. In 2014, he was named by HBCU Digest magazine as the Male HBCU President of the Year.

Reverend Raphael Warnock selected as 2016 Dillard University Baccalaureate Speaker PDF Print E-mail
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NEW ORLEANS – The Reverend Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the 2016 Baccalaureate speaker.  The service is scheduled for May 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm in the university’s Lawless Chapel.

Rev. Warnock is a native of Savannah, Ga., and completed his undergraduate studies as Morehouse College (B.A., Psychology).  He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, from which he graduated with honors and distinctions.  Continuing his studies, Warnock went on to receive both a Master of Philosophy and a Doctor of Philosophy from Union.  He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and is a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.

His pastoral career began as an intern at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where he was ordained by the Rev John T. Porter, who himself had served as Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit assistant at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.  After ten years of service at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City, Rev. Warnock spent 4 ½ years as the Senior Pastor of Baltimore’s Douglas Memorial Community Church.

In 2005, at 35 years of age, Dr. Warnock became the fifth as well as the youngest person ever called to be the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Church.  Under his leadership, more than 4,000 new members have joined Ebenezer while Dr. Warnock has enhanced the Church’s legacy of social activism.  Through his work Ebenezer has expanded ministries and community services to unprecedented levels.  In 2016 he was honored to have his footprints placed on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, just one of the many recognitions he has received during his illustrious career.

For more information on the 2016 Dillard University commencement activities, and for a copy of the commencement guide, visit

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