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Dillard University Theatre Presents "The Piano Lesson" PDF Print E-mail
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DUpianoposter1The Dillard University Theatre Program will continue its 76th season this February with a six-­‐performance run of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Winner of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The Piano Lesson is the fifth play in Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle,” which chronicles the African American experience in the 20th century. The show opens Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. and runs through Sunday, Feb. 12.

"August Wilson was one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th century," says director Ray Vrazel, who also helmed Dillard University's 2010 production of August Wilson's Fences. "Please come enjoy and be inspired by a great play brought to life by our wonderful company of student actors and technicians."

Set in Pittsburgh during the Great Depression, The Piano Lesson explores the troubled relationship of a brother and sister and their struggle over an extraordinary family heirloom, a piano carved with images of their African ancestors. The carvings, done by their enslaved grandfather, imbue the piano with a metaphysical legacy – one the siblings avoid or even take for granted, but come to accept and embrace. The piano ultimately brings together a family long torn apart by slavery, violence and murder.

Mr. Vrazel is available for interviews, as are other members of the show’s cast and crew.

Tickets are $15, and $10 for seniors and students. For ticket information, call the Dillard University Box Office at (504) 816-­‐4857. Several school matinees will also be produced.

Listen to a radio interview with Director Ray Vrazel!


 
Dr. Henrietta Harris Wins Top Award PDF Print E-mail
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dr_harris1Dillard University faculty member Dr. Henrietta Harris has been recognized for her hard work in making students’ lives more enriched. Recently, she was notified of her winning the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)- College Student Educators International ...Outstanding Experienced Professional Award from the Commission for Admissions, Orientation, and First Year Experience. The ACPA leads the student affairs profession and the higher education community in providing outreach, advocacy, research, and professional development to foster college student learning.

“I am so pleased,” says Dr. Harris, Director of the Center for the First Year Experience.

In her role at Dillard, Dr. Harris oversees First Year Programs. Here, she continues to place emphasis on the importance of the first year on campus as a critical key to overall student success and retention.  In her role, she designed and implemented a program that allowed students to connect with the campus and begin to see themselves as leaders and most of all as scholars in their new educational journey.  Under her leadership, first year students were encouraged to participate in community engagement, build relationships with their peers and most of all, form relationships with their professors.

Dr. Harris’ contributions to student life are well known and very much appreciated.  Several DU students posted their congratulations to Dr. Harris on social media websites and shared her glory with others. Many staff members sang her praises in a formal letter to the Commission citing her major contribution in the lives of thousands of students.

“Student Success (the program Dr. Harris is responsible for) is more than a term but a calling for her and the success of her students is evidence of her works and passion,” says Dr. Dewain Lee, Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Development at the University of Alaska at Anchorage.

The award comes at a particularly poignant time, as Dr. Harris finishes up her work at Dillard. “This comes as a very cherished moment for me as I prepared to retire from the university,” she says.

For more information about the award, contact Dr. Dawn Williams, Interim Assistant Vice President Student Affairs at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 504-816-4914.

 

 
Dillard Student Wins Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award PDF Print E-mail
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For Dillard student Sierra Spears, it truly is better to give than receive. The 21-year-old senior has done a lot of giving this past year and her efforts have been rewarded. On Thursday, Jan. 19, Spears will receive the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award for her tireless contributions to community service.

“I love the reaction you get from helping people,” says Spears, who plans to begin law school in the fall. Spears says building relationships with others is an added bonus when volunteering.

Though she has participated in mentoring programs, served as a tutor, and performed many other service activities, Spears says coaching the Prancing Panthers dance team at St. Rita Catholic Central is her favorite thing to do. The busy political science major has still found time to help the dance team at St. Rita practice for a series of upcoming performances for Black History Month. For Spears, it’s just who she is. “The concept of leadership through service was instilled in me early on. It’s ingrained in me; it’s a part of my biological makeup,” she adds.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award will be presented to Spears and another student at the MLK Convocation, which begins at 6:30 p.m. at Xavier University. It is bestowed on students who exemplify the principles, standards, and ideology of Martin Luther King Jr.

 
Alumnus Patrick Jefferson Takes Office as Louisiana State Representative PDF Print E-mail
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PatrickJefferson-EDOn Jan. 9, 2012, Dillard alum Patrick O. Jefferson, ’90, was sworn in as representative for District 11 in the Louisiana State House of Representatives. Jefferson’s goals as a state representative include holding regular town hall meetings to keep citizens informed (which he did throughout his campaign); ensuring the maintenance of local infrastructure; advocating for senior citizen programs; creating opportunities for young people; and providing affordable healthcare.

Jefferson, who has been in private practice as a lawyer since 2001, has also held a myriad of service positions in the community, including president of the Bienville Parish Police Jury, and member of the board of supervisors of Southern University, the Arcadia Lions Club and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He received his Juris Doctorate from Ohio State University College of Law in 1994. After completing law school, Jefferson returned to Dillard, where he worked in the Office of the President as administrative assistant to Dr. Samuel DuBois Cook, a position he held until 1998. He served as dean of students from 1998-2001.

Adrian Guy Anderson, Dillard’s executive director of Alumni Relations, attended the inauguration on behalf of the university (pictured). Alumnae Therese Badon and Rhea Lucien also attended.

 
Dillard Alumna Honored as a Best New Orleanian PDF Print E-mail
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Dillard University Alumna Dr. Doris R. Hicks is one of the best; local media has deemed her so. Gambit and BestofNewOrleans.com recognized and made honorable mention of four outstanding school principals, including Dr. Hicks in their annual "Best of New Orleans" issue. The principal and CEO of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School in the Lower Ninth Ward acknowledges the dedication of students, teachers and parents in making a difference. The school will graduate its first class of senior students this spring.

For more information on Dr. Hicks and other Dillard Alumni, contact Adrian Guy Anderson, Executive Director in the Office of Alumni Relations at (504) 816-4325 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 
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