New Roads native Bria Jones '20 named Dillard University valedictorian

Dillard University 2020 valedictorian Bria Jones

Dillard University 2020 valedictorian Bria Jones. Photo: Sabree Hill/Dillard University.

For Immediate Release
May 5, 2020

NEW ORLEANS – Bria Jones ‘20 has been named the valedictorian for the Dillard University class of 2020. The graduating class comprises 220 students and the University will host a virtual degree conferral program in place of its 84th Commencement exercise on Saturday, May 9, 2020, at 11 a.m., via the University website to honor their academic excellence. 


Jones, a New Roads, Louisiana native, and political science major earned a 4.0-grade point average during her undergraduate career. Jones served as the Sophomore Class Treasurer, Senior Class Senator, Resident Assistant of the Year, Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society President, Alpha Chi National Honor Society Vice President, and an on-campus Follett bookstore employee. 


Since 2018, Jones has participated in the University of Houston Pre-Law Pipeline Program that provided her internships with the Juvenile Capitol Advocacy Project and Dena Fisher Law Office. She also participated in Project Pericles: Debating for Democracy in New York City where she and her peers advocated for college students and their present-day concerns. Jones became the recipient of Tom Joyner's Young Women with a Purpose Project Scholarship. The scholarship allowed Jones to be mentored by L’Oreal executives at the illustrious cosmetic brand’s headquarters in New York City.  


"A political science major, Bria has always been committed to excellence. She is steadfast in her commitment to  scholarship and service. She is unflappable. She is the measure of persistence. I will not be surprised to see her serving as a judge or in the halls of congress,” Dr. Gary Clark, Dillard’s Barron Hilton Endowed Professor of Political Science said of Jones’ aptitude. 


In the fall, Jones will enroll in Southern University Law Center, located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to earn her Juris Doctorate. Jones served in Dillard University President Dr. Walter Kimbrough’s PODUS (President’s Organization of Dillard’s Up-and-coming Superstars) and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 


Dillard University’s 84th Commencement is tentatively scheduled for an in-person exercise Saturday, December 12, 2020. More details will follow throughout the year as the University, local and state governments monitor the development of the coronavirus pandemic. 


For more information about Bria Jones and the 2020 Virtual Degree Conferral Program, please contact Lauren R.D. Fox ( 



Dillard University, located in New Orleans at 2601 Gentilly Blvd., is a private four-year liberal arts historically black institution with a history dating back to 1869. For more information, please visit Also, follow us on Twitter, Facebook @DU1869 and Instagram: Dillard University.


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