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The Trials and Truth about Hazing Revealed PDF Print E-mail
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 Brain Food 2015 with Michael J. Morton

Michael J. Morton kicked off Brain Food, The Dillard University President's Lecture Series with A Conversation About Hazing: Trails and Truth on September 24, 2015 at the Lawless Memorial Chapel. Photography by L. Kasimu Harris 

Staff reports

Dillard University’s 2015 Brain Food Lecture Series began with Michael J. Morton, an ex-convict turned corporate and civic leader, whose life was forever changed while attending  college. On September 24, at 7 p.m., during “A Conversation about Hazing: The Trials and Truth,” Morton told a full house in Lawless Memorial Chapel  how a hazing conviction destroyed his life. “I was young and terribly misguided,” Morton said. He shared his prison experience with students from Dillard, Xavier, Southern University’s New Orleans and Baton Rouge campuses. “This is your moment so stay focused on your future,” he emphasized. Morton’s talk coincided with National Hazing Prevention Week, September 21-25.

In 2006, Morton was an honors student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Florida A&M University. He served as president of the Student Body Senate and two consecutive terms as President of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. After serving two years in prison Morton went on to earn a master’s degree from Rutgers and currently works for Johnson & Johnson.

The remainder of Brain Food’s lineup continues with a group of diverse and powerful speakers including Karrine Steffans, the former video vixen turned New York Times Best Selling Author and the Dance Theater of Harlem. Bryan Stevenson, attorney and human rights activist, will deliver The Revius O. Ortique Jr. Lecture on Law and Society.

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Katrina 10: Faith in Action PDF Print E-mail
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 Second lining for Katrina 10

A jazz funeral honored the memory of those lost in Hurricane Katrina, was a part of Dillard’s Katrina 10 commemoration. The Medard H. Nelson Charter School Brass Band and second-liners marched from Lawless Memorial Chapel to Kabacoff Plaza where doves were released. Photograph by L. Kasimu Harris  

Staff reports

Ten years after the most catastrophic event in its 145-year history, Dillard University commemorated and celebrated its progress and its future through an array of events held on campus from August 26 to 30. The campus was virtually destroyed, sustaining nearly $400 million in damages, yet Dillard persevered and has rebuilt a better and stronger institution.

Dillard hosted a number of events including an ecumenical convocation themed “Faith in Action,” that kept with the University’s motto Ex Fide Fortis, meaning “Strong from Faith.” Former President Dr. Marvalene Hughes returned to campus and spoke at the service. Hughes had only been at the university for six weeks when Hurricane Katrina devastated the campus.

Other events included a literary presentation by award-winning author and Dillard professor Mona Lisa Saloy and author Fatima Shaik, a spoken word open mike event and a jazz funeral processed down the Avenue of the Oaks to Kabacoff Plaza where doves were released. On Saturday, the university also participated in the citywide day of service in partnership with Hands on New Orleans.  The University’s Katrina 10 events concluded on Sunday, August 30, with an hour-long musical performance “What’s Goin’ On” featuring Tonya Boyd-Cannon, who recently appeared on NBC’s “The Voice.” Dillard students also performed Motown hits and original compositions.

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Dillard University Theater Celebrates its 80th Season PDF Print E-mail
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A scene from one of the many plays the Dillard Theater Department has produced during its 80 seasons.

Staff reports 

Dillard University Theater is celebrating its 80th season and the department is the oldest degree granting HBCU theater program in the country. Highlights of the year-long celebration include the return of Dr. Ted Shine, acclaimed dramatist, television script writer and educator, plus a performance of his one act plays.

From October 23-25 and October 30 to November 1, the Theater Department will perform Shine On!: Three Plays by Ted Shine. He will attend opening night and present an “Actors Studio” type of interview for the theatre students and the public. Shine, the foremost contributor to the Black Arts Movement and regional theater during the late 1960’s – 1970’s, was a professor of theater at Dillard in the 1960s, and spent 50 years in theater education at HBCUs.

The Theater program was established by S. Randolph Edmonds in 1935, who also spearheaded the founding of the Southern Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts (SADSA), at the University. Edmonds, known as the Dean of Black Academic Theater, led the program into 1944. He taught theater at FAMU for 20 years and retired in 1968.

The Dillard University Theater department opened its season with Eartha Kitt: Unauthorized Confessions, a one woman play by Tyra “Eartha Kitt” Hughes.  

Lawless Memorial Chapel Turns 60 PDF Print E-mail
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An archival photo of Lawless Memorial Chapel

Staff reports 

Lawless Memorial Chapel will reflect on its past and continue to move toward the future while commemorating its 60th year anniversary. For the occasion, the chapel staff has planned a concert, a reenactment of the dedication and a town hall meeting.  

A reading of the original dedication will precede the Dillard University Founders’ Day Service on October 18. At that time, Reverend Earnest Salsberry, ‘06, University Chaplain, will lead the “Litany of Dedication” as printed in the original program from October 1955. The 60th year commemoration will continue next month during Religious Emphasis Week with a town hall meeting, Is The Black Church Dead While Hip-Hop is Still Progressing. The Sunday Night Live concert with the VisionQuest chorale, mimes and liturgical dancers will also be held during Religious Emphasis Week, November 15-17.

Salsberry said the chapel is a place “where students can create memories of the spiritual, personal and academic excellence, because the chapel was built to bring Dillard together in one space as a community.”

The chapel is named after Alfred Lawless, Jr., D.D. and his son, Theodore K. Lawless, M.D.

Dr. Howard Thurman, dean of the Chapel at Boston University, delivered the sermon during the dedication 60 years ago. He said: “This chapel is dedicated to the worship of God. It stands in the midst of this institution of learning as the symbol of a point of ultimate referral for the human spirit.”   

9th Annual Housing and Home Improvement Fair a Success PDF Print E-mail
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From Dillard's 9th Annual Housing Fair

Staff reports 

On Saturday, September 26, 2015, Dillard University's Office of Community Relations hosted its 9th Annual Housing and Home Improvement Fair on Dillard’s campus in the Professional Schools and Sciences Building.

The exhibition space was sold out and more than 65 vendors participated in the Fair. A workshop series covered a variety of topics including obtaining a Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) Certification; foreclosure options; obtaining a contractor’s license; applying for 501c(3) non-profit business status; credit report repair and grant funding for homeowners. Representatives from Road Home were on site to update residents about opportunities available for individuals who still needed assistance in restoring their homes that were damaged during Hurricane Katrina.

“This event gave local residents the opportunity to meet business representatives in a casual setting that provides valuable information about homeownership as well as business opportunities from reliable sources, “ said Nick Harris, director of Dillard University Office of Community Relations.

The event’s co-sponsors included AARP, Capital One Bank, New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Entergy New Orleans, First NBC, Liberty Bank, Regions Bank, and Bayou Title, to name a few.

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