Campus News

Dillard alumnus to deliver keynote address during Founders’ Day Convocation

October 10, 2022
Contact: Danielle Miller

NEW ORLEANS — Dillard University has announced that C.J. Bland ‘86, CEO of Minority Professional Network, Inc. (MPN), will deliver the keynote address during Founders’ Day Convocation on Sunday, October 16 at 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in Lawless Memorial Chapel.

“C.J. Bland is a highly dedicated entrepreneur and is committed to the prosperity of Black and other under-represented professionals. I am confident that he will inspire the University community to continue to cultivate leaders,” said President Rochelle L. Ford. 

The New Orleans native was reared in the Fischer housing project in Algiers, along with his five siblings. Despite being abandoned by his father at age five, Bland was inspired by his mother and motivated by his surroundings to overcome poverty and further his education. He earned three degrees: a Bachelor of Science in physics from Dillard University, a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Southern University and A&M College and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Since then, Bland has held director-level, management, consulting or contributor roles in engineering, IT, sales, eCommerce and professional services at AT&T, Bell Labs/Lucent Technologies, Home Depot, Johnson Controls, NASA, NCR and Verizon Wireless. 

He is now the co-founder and CEO of MPN, a proven Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) human capital consulting solutions firm. MPN’s core offerings include a leading diversity job site and executive search and staffing solutions. Under Bland’s savvy and visionary leadership, MPN has reached millions of ethnically diverse job seekers, site users, consumers, subscribers and social media contacts based in 50 plus countries.

Bland’s extensive nonprofit, public service, mentoring, volunteerism and community service awards and affiliations have included: Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) board member, where he was elected to three terms; president of the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) – Atlanta chapter; he was elected as INROADS 2002 Facilitator of the Year; and he was a member of the UNCF fund development and Atlanta Public Schools (APS) Adopt-a-Student advisory boards. Bland is also a former Leadership and Professional Development (LPD) adjunct professor at Clark Atlanta University School of Business.

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.