Stories from the Oaks

Blending education with culture and community: King and queen of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Inc. visit Dillard

Mister and Miss Dillard University stood side-by-side with the queen-select and king-elect of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Inc., during a Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras Luncheon hosted by the Office of Community and Church Relations. Photo: Danielle Miller | Dillard University.

Danielle Miller
February 14, 2023

The Zulu Tramps led Mister and Miss Dillard University and the king and queen of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, Inc., through the doors of Kearny Hall to deliver a sweet surprise during the University’s Senior Citizens Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras Luncheon.

The event is a part of a luncheon series hosted by the Office of Community and Church Relations that allows seniors to fellowship and learn about available resources, while staying engaged and active.  

Councilman Oliver Thomas Jr., was in attendance and he recalled the reception at Liberty Bank where attendees honored and welcomed President Ford to Dillard University. He explained when Ford initially came to Dillard she talked about merging New Orleans culture, its residents and students here on campus. “Today’s event is a perfect example of the culture of this great educational institution, and the seniors love it,” said Thomas.

Members of the Arthur Monday Senior Center said they never miss the luncheons. “This is the only one that we visit,” said Betty Eby, president of the Arthur Monday Senior Center. “This is such a nice thing to have seniors get out and get a good meal and fellowship for a good price.” Eby playfully added that having the event on Valentine’s Day was a nice touch as she and her friends “had a chance to put on our beautiful red, be together as a team and give each other a little love.” 

During the event, the king-elect Nicholls Spears and queen-select Dr. Christy Legarde Spears danced with seniors to the sounds of the tramps and gave students words of encouragement. This was considered a nice gesture by Mobile, Alabama native and Miss Dillard University Jerika Edwards ‘23, who grew up around a Mardi Gras-influenced culture, but never met a Mardi Gras king and queen. “To do this during Black History month at my HBCU while being a queen myself has been so inspiring and empowering to witness, and I’m so glad to experience a piece of New Orleans culture,” Edwards said.

Things were a little different for Mister Dillard Spencer Jones ‘23, because he did not grow up around a Mardi Gras-influenced culture in Arkansas, but coming to New Orleans for college changed that. “That’s the great thing about Dillard, they’ve exposed me to the New Orleans culture and allowed me to really get involved with the community,” said Jones.

Upcoming luncheons will take place March 10, April 12 and May 3. Attendees will have an opportunity to enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet style lunch for only $9.09. Groups of five or more must reserve seating at least 48 hours prior to the event by contacting Robin Hawkins at 504-816-4553 or rhawkins@dillard.edu.
For more information regarding the Senior Citizens Spring Luncheon Series contact Nick Harris, director of the Office of Community and Church Relations, at nharris@dillard.edu.