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Dillard's Valedictorian and Salutatorian are from New Orleans area Valedictorian Ariel Lucius is Denzel Washington Scholar PDF Print E-mail
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Dannielle Thomas, salutatorian (left) and Valedictorian Ariel Lucius (right) with Dillard University Commencement Speaker Denzel Washington

Dannielle Thomas, salutatorian (left) and Valedictorian Ariel Lucius (right) with Dillard University Commencement Speaker Denzel Washington

(New Orleans, LA) – Ariel Lucius, valedictorian and Dannielle Thomas, salutatorian, were recognized during commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9 as the top graduates in Dillard University’s Class of 2015.

Valedictorian Ariel Dominique Lucius, a theatre performance major from New Orleans just completed her first feature film, “Rodeo and Juliet” and plans to eventually attend graduate school at Yale, New York University or Juilliard. Immediately after graduation, she will join Teach for America in South Louisiana.  

Lucius is the recipient of the Benjamin E. Mays-Samuel Dubois Cook Presidential Scholarship and is also a Denzel Washington scholar. She is a member of Alpha Psi Omega Theater Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. She also completed 190 hours of community service. Lucius is a graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School.

She is the daughter of Shelley and Oliver Lucius Jr.

Salutatorian Dannielle M. Thomas, an accounting major from Harvey, La., has accepted employment with the accounting firm of Postlewaite and Netterville (P&N). She is the recipient of The Michael L. Lomax Presidential Scholarship. Thomas said she came to Dillard because she felt she had reached the glass ceiling in her job as an office manager in an OB/GYN office where she also handled billing. She aspires to build a long-term career in accounting.

Thomas is the recipient of the Michael L. Lomax Presidential Scholarship. She has completed 120 hours of community service at the Louisiana Hospice. Thomas is a graduate of John Ehret High School. She is the daughter of Gerald and Audrey Thomas.

New Fee Structure Offers Decrease in Single Room Residency Rate, No Increase in Tuition, and Minimal Increases in Meal Plan and Graduation Fees PDF Print E-mail
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Effective Fall 2015, Dillard University is making several changes in its student fee structure that will bring its housing costs in line with current market rates, but will include minimal increases in meal plan and graduation fees.

Dillard University recognizes the ever-increasing cost of higher education, but is making every attempt to minimize the impact of those increases on our students and their families. To that end, the Board of Trustees has decided to not increase tuition for the 2015-2016 school year.

Like many other institutions, Dillard has recognized that students are challenged by the costs of tuition and raising tuition could perhaps provide a negative impact on the university especially its enrollment of new students and the continued enrollment of upper class students.  Our faculty and staff remain dedicated to providing the best education that will prepare our students to be tomorrow’s leaders. The quality of our education will not suffer by this decision. Moving forward the University will review its costs structure while keeping an eye on decisions made in Washington, DC that impact higher education like the elimination of the Federal Perkins Loan in October 2015.

Other fee changes include a reduction in the single room rate by 33% and the elimination of multiple deposits to one Dillard Deposit of $150 which covers the housing /tuition deposit for new students and elimination of the existing $150 housing deposit for continuing students.

Students at the university, however, will see a minimal increase in some fees. The graduation fee will increase by 2.79% ($12) and there will be a 5% ($86) increase in the meal plan making it $1,805 per semester. The meal plan is a result of rising costs of food and services by Sodexo.

Dillard is site of Department of Defense's "Pentagon to the People Technical Assistance Program" Conference PDF Print E-mail
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The event is Wednesday, April 15 – Thursday, April 16 

(New Orleans, LA) – The Department of Defense's (DoD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity will host its "Pentagon to the People Technical Assistance Program" in the Professionals Schools and Sciences Building on Dillard’s campus April 15-16.  The program is a wonderful opportunity for people to connect and network with DoD representatives and colleagues from other universities.  The event is free and open to the public and individuals from all disciplines are invited to attend.

"Taking the Pentagon to the People" is part of the DoD’s 2015 initiative to discuss critical White House initiatives as well as its continued support of a Presidential Executive Order that advances the development of the Nation’s full potential and to advance equal opportunity in higher education." 

The primary focus is on the participation by historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) in federally sponsored programs.  Particular emphasis is being placed on enhancing institutional infrastructure and facilitating planning, development, and the use of new technologies to ensure the goal of long-term viability of these institutions as major resources for the DoD. The intent is to develop a comprehensive assessment of the areas of greatest opportunity in pipeline development, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and technical assistance needs for these institutions. 

DoD officials and representatives along with prime and small business contractors will make information available to administrators from HBCUs and MSIs regarding research, development, STEM, human capital and workforce development activities within the DoD. Subsequently, the DoD will develop a comprehensive suite of recommendations to enhance existing partnerships including infrastructure enhancement, sustainability, grants and contracting, STEM education, human capital and workforce development, and civilian career opportunities.

Conference times and locations are as follows.  Wednesday, April 15, the conference will be held 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Thursday, April 16, in the Professional Schools Building (PSB) Atrium, rooms 131-135 and 151 at 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Register at the following link:

Sil Lai Abrams to Speak at Dillard April 7 PDF Print E-mail
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Domestic Violence Awareness Activist  and Founder of Truth in Reality

Aims to Change Portrayal of Women of Color on Reality TV Programs

slot6(New Orleans) – On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Sil Lai Abrams, National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) award-winning writer, inspirational speaker, and domestic violence awareness activist, will deliver the next Brain Food Lecture in Georges Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Dillard’s campus. The event is free and open to the public. Seats are on a first come basis.

Sil Lai Abrams is founder and CEO of Truth in Reality, a media advocacy organization dedicated to changing the manner in which women of color and violence are portrayed on reality television programs. Through public awareness and educational campaigns, including digital media, specifically her weekly #RealityTVCheck tweet chat, Abrams engages audiences in conversations about real-life social issues regarding gender-based violence. She also launched “Redefining HERstory, a campus-based educational and social action program that is currently in place on several college campuses. According to Abrams, the goal of the organization is to empower students with media literacy tools that will enable them to think critically about their media consumption; provide education on domestic violence, bullying and sexual violence; expose students to women of color who are models for redefining history. Ultimately, the organization seeks to mobilize individuals in a collective effort to changes the narratives and negative depiction of women of color on reality TV.

Abrams is a living testament of transformation through self-empowerment as she has overcome addiction, mental health issues and domestic violence to become a nationally recognized expert on relationships and domestic violence. She has appeared on a number of TV shows including ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, FOX, BET, and TruTV, to name a few. She has also been featured in national magazines such as Modern Woman, Oprah, Redbook, EBONY, Black Enterprise and Sister 2 Sister.

 For more information go to @DUBrainFood, visit or call 504.816.4800.

Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart to Speak at Dillard PDF Print E-mail
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Will Address Students with “Reflections on Life and the Law” 

Judge Stewart 2010(New Orleans, LA) – On Monday, April 6 the Honorable Carl E. Stewart will address a group of aspiring legal eagles at 6 p.m. in the Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Mock Trial Courtroom in the Professional Schools and Sciences Building on Dillard University’s campus. 

The title of the program is “The Chief Judge Speaks: Reflections on Life and the Law from the Honorable Carl Stewart.”

“We are excited about having the Chief Judge for the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals come and share his experience with our students,” said Dr. Gary Clark, political science professor and director of Dillard’s Center for Law and Public Interest. “I wonder if our students realize how fortunate they are to have someone of Judge Stewart’s caliber come and have a face-to-face conversation with them. The fact that Judge Stewart is a 1971 graduate of Dillard makes it even more special,” Clark added. For more information call 504-816-4701.

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