Warren A Bell, Jr.
Campus News, Newsletter

Warren A. Bell Jr. to Receive Honorary Degree from Dillard University at 2024 Commencement

NEW ORLEANS – Dillard University will award an honorary doctorate to media maven Warren Bell Jr.  He, along with community partner Edgar Poree and commencement speaker Ayo Davis ’98, will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters at the University’s 2024 Commencement on May 11, 8 a.m. on the Rosa Freeman Keller Avenue of the Oaks.

Warren A. Bell Jr. is a New Orleans native with a long-established presence in broadcast media as a TV & Radio news anchor, news manager and talk show host, in addition to producing numerous documentaries on critical topics over those years. Bell anchored his first radio news broadcast in 1968 at WYLD-AM while still attending St. Augustine High School. By 1977 the Yale University graduate (’73, Afro American Studies) had returned home making local broadcasting history as New Orleans’ first Black weekday prime-time TV News anchor at WDSU-TV (1974-1980) plus stints at WGNO-TV as Public Affair Director, Host of WYES-TV “Informed Sources” and Senior News anchor (1987-94) at WVUE-TV. During subsequent career stops at WYLD Radio where his career began, Bell established its award-winning News & Public Affairs tradition.

Mr. Bell also served in multiple Higher Education and media consulting roles. Serving first in the classroom as an adjunct instructor (1983-2000) then as Director of Dillard University’s Mass Communication Division.  Next as an Associate V.P. for University & Media Relations (2003-2011) at Xavier University of Louisiana. His last HBCU assignment came as Founding Director of the Honoré Center for Undergraduate Student Achievement (2012-2017) a program established by Southern University to recruit young men from underserved NOLA communities for support to develop them into classroom teachers. 

Warren Bell sits on the boards of several nonprofits including the University Medical Center of New Orleans’ Spirit of Charity Foundation, where he was elected President of its Board of Trustees for 2024; also on the Board of the Louisiana Creole Research Association. Bell is a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and remains a member of the NABJ Founders Task Force. He is also founding president of the New Orleans NABJ chapter (NOABJ) and served two terms as President of the Press Club of New Orleans. In August 2023 he received the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists LEGACY Award.

Bell has received numerous other local and regional awards for service as well as his journalistic efforts over a 50-year career.  He just released a TV documentary for 2024. Buried History: Finding Our Past tells his personal story of learning  more about his own family history while taking over a neglected family tomb — but more importantly, to showcase an even richer neglected history of the achievements of Free Blacks in New Orleans dating back before the Civil War.

Bell is married, a proud father of four daughters, and a doting “Papa Bell” to five grandchildren.  He remains an active member and Lector at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church in the Tremé area, where his family’s Afro-Creole roots date back over 150 years.

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 the 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.