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Dillard Awarded $10.5 Million from National Institutes of health PDF Print E-mail
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(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Dillard University recently received a major grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Institute awarded the $10.5 million grant to Dillard’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ), which will train individuals in asbestos, lead, construction, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER).  The award to Dillard was one of only 10 grants awarded nationwide to institutions including UCLA, Rutgers Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences, and the United Steelworkers. 

The worker training initiatives will occur at strategic sites across the Gulf Coast and throughout the country with training programs established in Houston, Detroit, Pensacola, Savannah and New Orleans. Dillard’s consortium of training sites will attract and provide training for over 500 participants. Through formal arrangements with HBCUs, community based organizations, unions and industry; Dillard’s program staff will provide environmental health and safety training for underserved populations as well as currently employed workers within environmental remediation and related fields.

In addition to training and outreach, Dillard’s DSCEJ programming also includes a research focus, which is spearheaded primarily by the Center’s project director and principal investigator, Dr. Beverly Wright. Under her leadership, the Center has produced a number of publications as well as regional and national conferences regarding environmental justice-related issues.

Dr. Wright and Dillard’s DSCEJ have managed a number of projects from NIH, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past 20 years.  The Center also led critical training and research efforts in the gulf coast region for small businesses, first responders, residents and hazardous waste industry workers following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010.  Additionally, following Hurricane Sandy, the DSCEJ was called on to lead clean up training efforts in New York and New Jersey. “We are extremely excited to be able to continue our work exhibiting excellence and developing sound practices which have advanced the quality of our training programs over the years. We are gratified and excited about the increased support from the NIEHS to do this most important work,” said Dr. Wright.

According to Theodore Callier, assistant vice president for Sponsored Programs, Dillardfaculty and researchers have consistently secured increased support from the NIH in recent years.  “Given the list of recipients, this latest NIEHS award demonstrates the level of confidence the agency continues to have in Dillard’s Center.”

Grant activities will begin later this month and continue through July of 2020.

The David Dillard $100,000 Founders' Day Challenge PDF Print E-mail
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We have a way to turn your dollar into two--but you have to give it to us. Seriously. David Dillard, the great grandson of James Hardy Dillard, the University’s namesake, has issued a $100,000 Challenge. Mr. Dillard, a University Board Member Emeritus, has agreed to match every dollar donated up to $100,000 with a matching gift to the Fair Dillard Fund. The only stipulation is the money must come from *new alumni donors.  

This past fiscal year, we increased new alumni dollars by 74 percent. But we always have room to grow. So, heading into this fiscal year, new alumni donors can double the impact of their gifts this fall with the 1:1 match to any donation made between now and October 18, 2015, the day Dillard traditionally celebrates its annual Founders’ Day. There is no minimum level of giving required, however matching corporate or foundation gifts are not eligible.

“Gifts to the Fair Dillard Fund provide important dollars right away for student scholarships, faculty enrichment and innovative programs”, said Marc Barnes, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. He added that these types of challenges also help boost the university’s alumni participation rate, which can increase the number of gifts from foundations and corporate donors.

A gift of any size by a *new alumni donor is always important; and now, because of this challenge, that significance will be doubled. So, what class, decade, greek organization, or alumni association chapter will lead the way in giving?

The David Dillard $100,000 Founders’ Day Challenge has been extended to 12/31/2015.

(*Alumni donors whose last gift was five years ago or more count as new as well for this challenge.)

For more information contact:

Marcel R. McGee

Annual Fund Officer


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Dillard University Mourns the Loss of One Its Trailblazers PDF Print E-mail
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Dr. Barbara Guillory Thompson

guillorythompsonIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of Dillard’s trailblazing daughters, Dr. Barbara Guillory Thompson, who died on Sunday, August 2, 2015.

Barbara Guillory Thompson served Dillard University in many capacities for 42 years. She retired from the university as chair of the Division of Social Sciences, chair of the sociology department, University Marshall, and chair of the tenure and promotions committee. Thompson also served as director of institutional research from 1974-1976. She is a native New Orleanian, a product of the public school system, and a cum laude sociology graduate from Dillard’s Class of 1957. She earned an M.A. in sociology from Louisiana State University in 1960. She was the first Black female student to live in the dormitory at LSU. She wrote a thesis on the “Career Patterns of Negro Lawyers in New Orleans.” By 1960 she was ready to challenge another educational barrier, and became a litigant in a class action suit against Tulane University. The court decision made possible the attendance of Black students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She completed the requirements for the Ph.D. degree by writing a dissertation on ”The Black Family: A Case for Change and Survival in White America.” Thompson made a tremendous impact outside the academy by advocating equity for voiceless government workers.

The City Council of New Orleans appointed her a member of the New Orleans Civil Service Commission from 1981-1992, and chair of the august body from 1989-1992. She was the first Black, the first woman, and the first non-attorney to be named chair. Thompson was active in numerous professional and learned societies, such as the American Sociological Association and the Southern Sociological Association. She has numerous publications, some written independently and some co-authored with her late husband Daniel C. Thompson.

In 2004, Dillard University awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and in 2013 she received a Presidential Citation. At that time, the University also replaced her honorary degree that was lost in Hurricane Katrina. She was the recipient of numerous other honors and awards ranging from membership in the Louisiana Black History Hall of Fame, to citations from the governor, mayor, and UNCF. She was a board member for Chatham School for Girls, a consultant for Minority Issue with Innovations Consulting, Inc., and a proposal reader for the Department of Education. 

Funeral services will be held at Noon on Thursday, August 6, 2015 in Lawless Memorial Chapel on Dillard’s campus. Visitation is from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Dillard Alumnus Donates $1 million for Endowed Scholarship PDF Print E-mail
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IMG 1025(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Jimmie Edwards, a 1970 graduate of Dillard University recently donated $1 million to his alma mater to establish an endowed scholarship for deserving students. This is one of the largest single contributions ever given by an alumnus and it establishes the largest endowed scholarship in Dillard’s history.

“I received a full scholarship in 1966 and without that I would not have been able to go to college,” Edwards said. “I felt like I owed Dillard a repayment for their investment because it gave me an opportunity to have a different life,” he added.

“Mr. Edwards’ enthusiasm for making this gift is amazing,” said Marc Barnes, vice president for Institutional Advancement.  “We are inspired, not only by his tremendous generosity, but also by his incredible desire to pay forward the assistance that he received as a student at Dillard,” Barnes noted.  “Edwards is truly a great example of the Dillard Difference.”

The eldest of five, Edwards recalled that his family was extremely poor and there was no way he would have been able to go to school without a full scholarship. Edwards says he always wanted to make a substantial gift to Dillard and when he saw a story about an alumnus who had given a million dollars to an HBCU he was inspired to do the same. “I’m just giving back and repaying Dillard for their investment,” he said.

Edwards pointed out that Dillard is an institution where many of its students are on financial aid and that the investment being made in them should be repaid once they have an opportunity to give back. With that said, he is challenging alumni to give and collectively match what he has given.

After graduating from Dillard with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, Edwards worked as a research chemist in Akron, Ohio. While working full time as a chemist he also attended Kent State University where he obtained his MBA in 1974. He later joined the sales and marketing team at Amoco in Atlanta. He remained with the company through a succession of corporate changes, as Amoco became BP, then INESO, a $54 billion international petrochemical company. He retired in 2008 after nearly 40 years in the industry.

Edwards is currently employed during the summer season as a customer service agent with Delta airlines in Charlotte, N.C.

HBCU Digest Selects Dillard University As Finalists in Six Award Categories PDF Print E-mail
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NEW ORLEANS - Dillard University ranks among the finalists in six “Best Of” categories sponsored by the HBCU Digest annual awards ceremony that will be held this week on Dillard’s campus. The HBCU Digest is a daily blog/news resource providing news synopsis, links and commentary on stories about America’s 105 historically black colleges and universities.


Each year it sponsors the HBCU Awards event to honor, acknowledge and celebrate achievements at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country.


Crowning winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement, the HBCU Awards is the first and only event to recognize the influence and impact of HBCUs on American culture.

The HBCU Awards ceremony will be held July 10 during the HBCU National Media Summit, which is July 9-11 at Hampton University in Virginia. 


From a pool of 430 nominations, Dillard University was selected as a finalist in the following areas: Best Choir; Best Fine Arts Program – (Film and Theater); Best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics STEM Program (Physics); Female Faculty of the Year  - Kemberley Washington; Male Alumnus of the Year – Michael Jones, ‘82; and Male President of the Year – Dr. Walter Kimbrough. Click to see other finalistsand categories.


Proceeds from the awards ceremony benefit the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy (CHMA), a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote the mission, culture and development of America’s historically black colleges and universities through new media exposure, training and education. There is still time to register for the 2015 Summit. Click on the link to register and for more details and registration.

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