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Ellis Marsalis Center for Music Opens in 9th Ward PDF Print E-mail
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md-ellis-marsalis-1248The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music opened on Aug. 25 in the upper 9th Ward’s Musicians’ Village. The facility, which will function as a performance arts space, a school, and a community center, will begin hosting after-school programs this fall. Classes will emphasize New Orleans’ music and roots, as well as professional and personal development for young men and women.

“Having the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music named for me is more than an honor,” said Marsalis, who graduated from Dillard University in 1955. “It is also an opportunity to realize many of the dreams I have long held for the music and musicians of New Orleans.”

The center, which features a performance hall, a computer lab, a music library, rehearsal rooms and a lounge, cost nearly $7.5 million to construct. Funds came from donors as varied as New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and the National Endowment for theArts, and Harry Connick Jr. and the Dave Matthews Band. The only thing students will have to pay for is insurance on their instruments, which the center will supply.

Marsalis’ long and storied music career has featured a great deal of work as an educator. In 1989, Marsalis was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music by Dillard University. He has served on the faculty at both the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and the University of New Orleans.
 
Alum Margarette Purvis Appointed CEO of Food Bank for New York City PDF Print E-mail
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margarettepurvisThe Food Bank For New York City, the city’s foremost hunger-relief organization, has appointed Dillard alumna Margarette Purvis to be its new president and chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1, 2011. Purvis previously served as the Food Bank’s vice president of programs and services from 2001 to 2006. She succeeds Dr. Lucy Cabrera, who announced her retirement in January after serving as president and C.E.O. of the Food Bank for the past 23 years.

“I am honored and thrilled to rejoin the Food Bank, an organization I know and care deeply about,” said Purvis, who was selected from a candidate pool of over 200 individuals. “In today’s fragile economic environment, the Food Bank has consistently and successfully tackled food poverty on multiple fronts. I look forward to working closely with the board of directors, donors, staff, and our extensive membership network to address the very real and growing demand for hunger-related services.”

“Margarette is an accomplished and respected leader with a long track record of successfully advocating for the impoverished and underserved both nationally and in New York City,” said Rev. Henry Belin, chair of the Food Bank’s board of directors. “After an extensive search, the board selected Margarette because of her deep knowledge and experience working within our organization, her passion for the issues, and her critical insights into ways we can move forward in tackling hunger at its root causes.”

Purvis graduated from Dillard University in 1995 with a degree in urban studies and public policy. She later studied policy analysis and nonprofit management at the Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School for Social Research. She is the C.E.O. and principal of the Purvis Consulting Group, an Atlanta-based firm she founded in 2007 that develops fundraising strategies for businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. Prior to joining the Food Bank For New York City, Purvis was the developer and director of Bailey House’s INVEST, the country’s first employment training program for people living with HIV and AIDS.

The Food Bank For New York City has been fighting hunger for 28 years through a program of food distribution, income support and nutrition education. The Food Bank helps provide New Yorkers with 400,000 free meals every day.
 
Professor to Host Radio Show Promoting Financial Preparation for Hurricane Season PDF Print E-mail
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Kemberley_Washington_smDillard University accounting instructor Kemberley Washington willhost a new talk radio show designed to help New Orleans residents prepare financially for the threat of a hurricane. The show, called “Disaster Finance,” will debut on WBOK-AM 1230 on Monday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m., and air weekly for the next three months. August 29 marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“Oftentimes we are warned about evacuating, storing canned goods or protecting our homes, but rarely are we provided with much needed advice to prepare financially for a natural disaster,” said Washington, a certified public accountant.

The show, which is sponsored by the Capital One Financial Corporation, will feature Washington and other financial analysts discussing topics such as disaster tax credits, insurance coverage, dealing with the IRS, and documents to bring during an evacuation.

“Our goal is to educate the community so that, in the event of a hurricane or another emergency, New Orleanians can remain financially solvent,” said Washington, who writes a weekly personal finance column for The New OrleansTribune called “Money, Power, Respect.”

To listen live to the show online, visit www.wbok1230am.com on Mondays at 1 p.m. To learn more about the program, follow Kemberley Washington on Twitter @kemwashcpa.
 
24th Annual UNCF Walk for Education PDF Print E-mail
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uncfwalkThe United Negro College Fund will host its 24th annual Walk for Education in New Orleans on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The 5K run/walk will start in the Audubon Park Riverview area behind the zoo.

Every year Dillard and Xavier universities compete to see which school has the best turnout and raises the most funds. Help Dillard come out on top!

A minimum pledge of $30 through Sep. 28 entitles you to a race number, official race day T-shirt, free food and drinks, and admission to Audubon Zoo. Click here to learn more and to register. And remember to join Dillard University's team!

For more information, please contact Dillard University's Travis Chase at (504) 816-4713 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Dr. Lyons Appointed to Board of Regents' Education Commission PDF Print E-mail
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LyonsDillard University Interim President James Lyons has been appointed to serve on a new commission to study the governance, management and supervision of public postsecondary education in Louisiana. The commission, created by the Board of Regents in accordance with House Concurrent Resolution 184 of the 2011 Legislative Session, includes 18 educators, politicians and business leaders from across the state.

The commission will examine the higher education governance structure and its affect on resource efficiency, student success, tuition, transfer students, historically black colleges and universities, and more. The commission, which will hold its first monthly meeting in Baton Rouge on Aug. 19, will submit a plan for the reorganization of the management of postsecondary education to the Legislature by Jan. 12, 2012.

“I am truly honored to accept this appointment, and look forward to working with the Board of Regents and the House and Senate Committees on Education to reorganize the governance, management, and supervision of postsecondary education in Louisiana,” said Dr. Lyons.

“This is a very critical time for higher education,” Lyons said. “President Obama has challenged us to lead the world in the number of citizens receiving some post-high school education; college costs continue to rise and threaten to put higher education out of reach of many deserving students; and the achievement gap along racial and ethnic lines continues to grow.

“I hope that one outcome of our work will be to ensure that every student in the state of Louisiana who is desirous of a college education will be given that opportunity.”

Other members of the commission include: Robert Levy, district attorney for the Third Judicial District; Jacqui Vines, senior vice president and general manager for Cox Louisiana; Barry Erwin, president of the Council for a Better Louisiana; Raymond Lasseigne, petroleum engineer; Patrick Bell, deputy commissioner for minority affairs with the Louisiana Department of Insurance; Winfred Sibille, chair of the board of supervisors for the University of Louisiana System; N.J. Ogé, director of business affairs for Ingalls Shipbuilding-Avondale Operations; Camille Conaway, consultant for SSA; Greg Davis, director of the Cajundome; Ann Duplessis, deputy chief administrative officer for the city of New Orleans; Sean Reilly, chief executive officer of Lamar Advertising; Phillip Rozeman, president of Cardiovascular Consultants; Senate Education Chairman Ben Nevers; House Education Chairman Austin Badon; Sen. Eric LaFleur; Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith; and Charles Moniotte, chairman of the Workforce Investment Council.
 
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