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(September 25, 2009) “Our purpose is so focused,” said Dillard University President Dr. Marvalene Hughes, “on enabling you to be the best person you possibly can be.” That was the message that rang clear at a town hall meeting in Lawless Chapel on the D.U. campus on a Monday evening in late September. Addressing the student body for the first time this semester, the president described the meeting as “an intimate sharing about where we are and where we’re going.” Before soliciting questions from students, Dr. Hughes discussed economic issues in the world of higher education, as well as the exciting developments transpiring here in the Dillard community.

High on the agenda was the new Student Union and Recreation, Health and Wellness Center, scheduled to open in January or February 2010. The state-of-the-art, 55,000 square foot facility will house a movie theater, a bowling alley, multiple eateries, and a full-service health center for both Dillard students and the greater Gentilly community. The building is LEED registered (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in keeping with the school’s greening initiatives, Dr. Hughes said.

A panel of Dillard University staff members also fielded student questions and addressed the school’s interest in expanding its curriculum to include graduate studies in fields such as nursing and education.

Throughout the evening, Dr. Hughes encouraged students to become scholars, seek leadership positions, make healthy decisions, and embrace opportunities to build character. The year’s first D.U. town hall meeting was bookended by prayers given by the senior class chaplain.

*(LEED is a trademark owned by the U.S. Green Building Council.)


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