Dillard University’s Day of Giving 2023 Exceeds Expectations, Raising Over $1.9 Million.

New Orleans, LA – November 29, 2023

Dillard University’s Day of Giving on November 28, 2023, was a landmark event, surpassing its fundraising goal by acquiring over $1.9 million. Co-hosted by university Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Corey Hebert and Stephanie Rogers, Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement, the day highlighted the university’s commitment to cultivating ethical leaders who think precisely, communicate effectively, and courageously contribute to a better world, all while aligning with Dillard’s visionary goal of evolving into a ‘Communiversity’—a hub that fosters safe, healthy, and innovative communities. 

In an event rich with generosity, the contribution of a $1.2 million donation from the Dr. Helen Harris Trust, presented by Dr. April Harris, carried significant weight. Dr. Harris eloquently relayed her grandmother’s ethos: “My grandmother believed that education was a right for everyone who sought it… she wanted to ensure that she could give back to Black scholars acquiring their college degrees by removing financial burdens.” This substantial gift is poised to help many Dillard students complete their education debt-free. Accompanied by other donations, it reflects a deep community commitment to fostering accessible education and nurturing future leaders.

Corporate support played a pivotal role in the event’s success. AT&T, led by David Aubrey, President, and Eric Jones, Regional Manager for External Affairs, contributed $5,000, igniting the momentum for the $250,000 Match Challenge. Furthermore, Healthy Blue, represented by Dr. Christy Valentine Theard, Health Plan President, and Kathy Victorian, Market Manager, made a significant donation of $70,000, exemplifying the strength of corporate-community partnerships in advancing educational initiatives.

Blair Condoll, Professor and Faculty Council President at Dillard University, in his address during the Day of Giving, delved into the university’s approach to education. Stating, “At Dillard, our commitment extends beyond traditional academia. We focus on nurturing each student’s unique path, ensuring a blend of academic rigor and holistic development.” This approach, he emphasized, is key to preparing students for diverse challenges and opportunities, reflecting Dillard’s dedication to fostering well-rounded, successful individuals.

Charlie Coleman, Assistant Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations and a proud 2013 graduate, along with Amanda Winfield-Buford, a Class of 2008 alumna who currently serves as the Director of Alumni Relations, delivered insightful and practical messages to the Dillard alumni community. Their messages primarily revolved around the strategic significance of alumni engagement, particularly within the context of financial contributions.

Charlie Coleman elaborated on the 1869 Society,” a forward-thinking initiative designed to inspire alumni to establish a deeper connection with the institution through financial support. He expressed, “We aim to engage with our alumni at various stages of their life journeys, whether they’ve recently graduated or have established themselves in their careers. The ‘1869 Society’ offers alumni the opportunity to engage and support their university through monthly donations. The objective is clear: to invest in their institution’s future, secure its sustainability, and set a compelling example for external supporters to follow.”

Amanda Winfield-Buford, Director of Alumni Relations and a distinguished member of the Class of 2008, underscored the pivotal role alumni play in the ongoing success and growth of Dillard University. She emphasized, “My family’s roots in Dillard run deep, and our legacy is a source of great pride. It forms a strong foundation upon which we stand. In alumni relations, our primary aim is to strengthen and deepen the bond between alumni and the university, with a keen awareness that Dillard’s future is intricately tied to the support it receives from its alumni. While Dillard University’s presence is assured, it’s the alumni who are instrumental in ensuring its enduring presence and continued progress.” This perspective drives home the point that alumni are not just part of Dillard’s past; they are vital contributors to its current stability and future accomplishments.

Amanda Winfield-Buford concluded her address with a pragmatic call to action, particularly directed at younger alumni: “Let’s step up and take responsibility for our university, providing the care and support it needs to thrive.” This appeal underscores the pivotal role of active engagement and steadfast support from the younger alumni generations in propelling the ongoing growth and success of Dillard University.

The event concluded with a powerful message from Executive Vice President Rogers, who urged continued engagement: “If not you…who? If not now…when? This is the time we need you to join us to transform our Fair Dillard.” Her call to action underscored the collective effort and community spirit driving the day’s success.

Dillard University’s Day of Giving was not just a fundraising achievement but a testament to the power of alumni and community support in advancing educational goals and empowering future generations.

Contributions can still be made at Dillard University’s Giving Page for those who wish to continue their engagement and support to Dillard University beyond the Day of Giving. You can watch the full show on Dillard University’s YouTube Channel.