Campus News

The stories of the Class of 2022 highlight Dillard commencement

The Class of ’22 at the 2021 Founders’ Day Convocation. Photo: Sabree Hill/Dillard University.

May 11, 2022
Contact:  Eddie Francis, 

NEW ORLEANS—Dillard University has been fortunate to bring notable celebrity speakers to commencement over the years. But this year the University will introduce new celebrities–the class of 2022. The class is represented by students who have excelled through a two-year pandemic which included several major hurricanes and a myriad of personal challenges.

President Walter Kimbrough collected the stories of students who agreed to have those stories told as part of his “senior shout outs.” 

“There are some really deep and personal stories that students have shared with me,” said Kimbrough. “And I’m like, ‘Are you sure you want me to tell this story???’ And they feel really strongly that other students like them can be inspired by these stories of perseverance.” 

The commencement audience will hear candid accounts of students who have overcome struggles with mental health, challenges as a result of Hurricane Ida, pausing their college careers for a variety of reasons including lack of funds and personal challenges. 

Dillard’s 86th Commencement is scheduled to take place May 14, 8 a.m. at the Rosa Freeman Keller Avenue of the Oaks.


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. Founded in 1869, Dillard is Louisiana’s oldest HBCU, born from the union of Straight College and New Orleans University. Find out more by visiting