Campus News

Dillard alumnus establishes a $100K scholarship endowment

Dillard alumnus J.J. Smith poses with his wife Shirley Smith.

May 26, 2023
Contact: Danielle Miller, dmiller@dillard.edu

NEW ORLEANS – The MacGregor Community Development Corporation of Houston, Texas, has established an endowment scholarship of $100,000 in honor of their founding president, Dillard alumnus James J. Smith ‘64. 

Mr. Smith is a native Louisianian from Donaldsonville. He has had a distinguished career in community economic development while serving for over 40 years in executive positions with Fannie Mae, Grant Thornton CPAs, and the City of  Houston. He is credited with facilitating the development of housing units and businesses valued at nearly $1 billion.

The MacGregor Community Development Corporation is a non-profit community development  organization whose mission is to improve the livability of the historic Third Ward neighborhood  of Houston by transforming vacant, deteriorated, and nuisance real estate properties into new and improved family homes and spaces for small businesses. Smith continues to serve as its president on a voluntary basis.

Smith was the first in his family to graduate from college. “I am extremely delighted to  deliver a $100,000 scholarship endowment to Dillard. This award symbolizes my immense gratitude to the University for the transformative education and experiences I received, and the many opportunities my degree has afforded me,” said Smith. “Graduating from Dillard would not have occurred without the scholarships and other financial assistance the University awarded  to me. It is immensely important for all Dillard alums to deliver resources to assist the University in achieving its mission.”  

The endowment scholarship will support male freshmen from Houston or Ascension Parish,  Louisiana, whose families have low to moderate household incomes. The students must be enrolled at Dillard University on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 credit hours) as undergraduate students  actively pursuing bachelor degrees. The scholarship is renewable for up to three years after the initial scholarship is awarded, provided the student maintains the established criteria. Dillard’s Office of Financial Aid will select recipients based upon the aforementioned criteria.

About Dillard University
Dillard University is a historically Black institution that cultivates leaders who live ethically, think and communicate precisely, and act courageously to make the world a better place. Located in New Orleans, Dillard is a private faith-based liberal arts university that offers 22 majors and two certificate programs. Ranked 5th on 2021 The New York Times Overall Mobility Index and 14th in 2022 by Academic Influence for Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship, Dillard’s call to future leaders is to Write Your Legacy. Find out more about Louisiana’s oldest HBCU by visiting www.dillard.edu.