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Dillard University Goes Smoke-Free PDF Print E-mail
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black smokingDillard University (DU) supports being smoke-free, with signs posted across the  institution reminding staff, faculty and students there is no smoking in any building. However, on March 3, 2012 hundreds of Louisiana middle, high and college students will also offer their support for being smoke-free when they descend onto the DU campus to mark the importance of being aware of tobacco marketing and living a tobacco-free lifestyle, at the fifth annual Youth and Young Adult Summit on Tobacco Advocacy.

Sponsored by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living (TFL), the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Tobacco Control Program, American Legacy Foundation, Dillard University and WQUE-FM Q-93, the day-long event will feature a rally, special guest speakers and a performance by music artist Dee-1.

“Not only do we want to create awareness around tobacco industry marketing toward youth, but we also want to empower youth to resist that manipulation and live healthy, tobacco-free lives,” said April Cabrera, TFL Program Coordinator for Youth and Young Adults.

Despite growing awareness of anti-smoking campaigns, the rate of teen smokers has risen in Louisiana from 19 percent in 2009, to 23.6 percent in 2011. Such statistics emphasize the need to continue the fight to be smoke-free. 

Other highlights include breakout sessions with high profile speakers including:

  • Duffy, from MTV’s Road Rules -- “Taking it to the Streets” using visual arts and graffiti to promote tobacco-free messages
  • Chris Blackburn, former Biggest Loser contestant - “The Size of Addiction-How Smoking and Obesity Go Hand in Hand”
  • Chad Bullock of MTV fame, “Igniting Initiative”- exploring tobacco’s impact and how taking initiative is the only way to change it.

The American Legacy Foundation will also host a session entitled “Social Justice and Tobacco”. Cabrera and other organizers hope to focus on the reality of youth access to tobacco products, and how attendees can become involved in policy debates on tobacco products at both the state and local level.

For more information on the event, contact April Cabrera at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (504) 301-9843.

Marketing PDF Print E-mail
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gardenvote_copy “Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.”

Dorothy Height - African-American Teacher, Social Activist, President Emerita National Council of Negro Women

In an effort to give back to the Gentilly neighborhood in which it sits, Dillard University (DU) is hoping to create a science and biology program for local elementary students, re-establish the DU greenhouse, and host a regular farmer's market. Through the Home Depot's "Retool Your School" program, Dillard University hopes to secure funds to accomplish these goals; however, grants are awarded to those HBCUs with the most votes and DU needs its staff, faculty, students and friends to participate with online votes. If Dillard wins, the university will use the funds to establish an agricultural partnership with its neighbors at Langston Hughes Academy. Dillard biology majors will mentor Langston Hughes students and teach them how to grow fruits and vegetables in the university’s greenhouse. Students would then give these crops to families at Langston Hughes, and sell them at a new farmers’ market for the whole neighborhood.

"We hope to help combat food insecurity in New Orleans, a community where many residents face inadequate access to fresh produce and healthy food," says Nick Harris, of Dillard University's Community Development Corporation (CDC).

This year, "Retool Your School" has expanded the program. It is introducing a new $25,000 Campus Pride Grant for the school that shows the most initiative in promoting their proposals and garnering votes. It is also providing an additional $10,000 Tier II Grant. In all, the program has increased the total grant funds available to $185,000. Last year, "Retool Your School" awarded grants totaling $150,000 to HBCUs. A $50,000 Tier I Grant went to Bethune-Cookman University to help upgrade their Student Center with wheelchair ramps and barrier-free automatic access doors in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Ten additional schools received $10,000 each for a variety of projects, from landscaping to lighting to irrigation

Online voting begins on Feb. 14, 2012. Voters are welcome to post their vote once per day.

For more information on "Retool Your School", contact Nick Harris at (504) 816-4704 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Billy Ray Hobley Gala and Bleu Devil Classic PDF Print E-mail
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Dillard University has installed a new ticketing system just in time for its annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Bleu Devil Classic/Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala.  Tickets  can be purchased at

Tickets for the 6th annual Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala are $75. The Gala is on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Professionals Schools and Sciences Atrium on campus. 

On Saturday, March 1 the Lady Bleu Devils take on the Xavier Gold Nuggets during the Bleu Devil Classic at 3 p.m. and the Bleu Devils follow at 5 p.m. against the Xavier Gold Rush in the Dent Hall Gymnasium. Game tickets are $15 for students and $50 for VIP seating.

 To learn more, contact Habtom Keleta, Dillard’s director of sports information, at (504) 816-4451. Join us for a celebration of Dillard athletics. Come out and Bleed Bleu! 

Facilities Update for February 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Pardon our Progress!

Beginning Monday, February 13, the University will begin exterior construction upgrades to the Student Union and Professional Schools Building with enhanced walkways, lighting, and landscaping. Construction will also include completing the parking lot and gated entrance from Warrington Dr. to the Student Union Community Health Clinic.

Effective Sunday, February 12 at 5:00pm, the parking lot between Cook and the Student Union and portions of the PSB lot will close. The road beside Cook to the Student Union will close to vehicular traffic.

Please park in the Dent lot and allow an additional 15-20 minutes to your normal schedule. An additional shuttle has been added to the route that will loop main campus to assist you in getting from Dent to the PSB, Cook, and Student Union.

The Student Union will remain open for operation. Access will be via pedestrian walk-way on the road beside Cook to the Student Union. Please use the front entrances to enter PSB and Cook. Persons who need special accommodations as required by ADA are to contact University Police at 504-816-4911.

Construction will be completed by August 1, 2012.


·Beginning Sunday at 5pm, park in the Dent lot.

· Allow an additional 15-20 minutes to your normal schedule.

· Use front entrances of Cook and PSB.

· Student Union remains open.

· Use pedestrian walk-way along road beside Cook to enter the Student Union.

For additional information, please contact Assistant Vice President for Facilities Mr. Keith McKendall at 504-816-4763.
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86th Annual National Celebration of Black History

Opening Program Feb. 1, 2012

7:00 P. M.

John Georges Auditorium Professional Schools Building

“The Background and Contemporary Meaning of Celebrating Black History”

The celebration, set for 7 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium of the Professional Schools Building, will feature a lecture from Dr. Alan Colón, eminent professor of African diasporan studies and professor of African world studies at Dillard University. The lecture is titled “The Background and Contemporary Meaning of Celebrating Black History.” This event is free and open to the public.

Art Exhibit Featuring Dillard Alumna Darlene A. Moore

Opening Reception Feb. 2, 2012

5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.

The Opelousas Museum and Interpretive Center will feature works of art by four African-American artists for Black History Month. The exhibition opens with a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, and will run through March 31. Featured artists will be Ella Guillory, Randell Henry, Ronald Kennedy and Darlene A. Moore.

Moore is a United Methodist minister and visual artist who received a bachelor of arts degree from Dillard University in New Orleans and master of divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta. Her designs and logos have been used in association with the Methodist Heritage Center and on the cover of several international publications through the United Methodist Church. Moore has shown her paintings and collages in various galleries and art spaces across the Louisiana region.

Coming Soon...

Black Heritage Ball

Dates and time to follow.


For Black History Month, Dillard University recognizes its distinguished alumni who were firsts in their fields.For Black History Month, Dillard University recognizes its distinguished alumni who were firsts in their fields.


James Bernard Knighten was an African American who made history. Like many of the men featured in George Lucas' "Red Tails", his role as one of the Tuskegee Airmen made him a decorated hero. But, Knighten wasn't just an Air Force Man; his work as a well-known comic in Las Vegas made him famous as well.

A Dillard alumnus, Knighten graduated in 1940 with a degree in social studies. During his time at Dillard, Knighten pledged Kappa Alpha Psi. After Dillard, he had the choice to attend Howard University Law School on a scholarship, study for the ministry at Gammon Theological Seminary in Chicago, or join the Army Air Corps cadets. Knighten chose the latter to avoid being drafted into the military. In those days, blacks that were drafted were usually assigned the least glamorous positions of custodians or cooks.

Before training at the historic Tuskegee Army Airfield, Knighten had never flown a plane. The novice quickly turned into a professional, earning the nickname “The Eel,” which was also the name of his P-40 fighter. The war hero flew a total of 81 missions and was decorated with the Air Medal. After WWII, Knighten remained in the Air Force and saw action in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Known for his witty one-liners, Knighten tried his hand at comedy in the mid ’50s, in and around New York City and near the McGuire Field where he was stationed. Stand-up continued to be a love of his, leading to his relocating to Las Vegas in the ’80s. During that time, Knighten was part of the Jazz and Jokes Players at the Debbie Reynolds Hotel.

Not only was he a beloved comedian and war hero, he was also a beloved father and husband and proud Dillard alumnus. His contributions to America and to Dillard University will be remembered.



RuthSimmons-WebTime, Newsweek, Glamour and Ms. magazines know a winner when they see one. These distinguished publications have all recognized Ruth Simmons as a “person to watch”, “America’s Best College President”, and “Woman of the Year”, twice. Not only is she an outstanding leader and educator, but also a trailblazer in the African American community; first to inaugurate an engineering course at a Woman’s College and first to be President of an Ivy League College.

Simmons, a 1967 Dillard University graduate, went on to receive her Ph.D. in Romance Literature and Languages from Harvard. Her love for learning led her to a path in higher education. After years at Princeton, Spelman and Smith Colleges, Brown was invited to become the first African American President of an Ivy League School, beginning her decade long tenure at Brown University.

During her time at Brown University, Simmons has created an ambitious set of initiatives designed to expand and strengthen the faculty; increase financial support and resources for undergraduate, graduate, and medical students; improve facilities; renew a broad commitment to shared governance; and ensure that diversity informs every dimension of the university. These initiatives have led to a major investment of new resources in Brown’s educational mission. At the close of this academic year, Simmons will step down as President of Brown University.

Though there are several key areas of education that Simmons champions such as the role of women in higher education and diversity on campuses, it is the preparation for students to become informed, conscientious citizens that holds the greatest meaning to Simmons.

Today, Simmons continues as a leader working on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, as well as holding prominent positions on various boards and committees. In 2011, Simmons joined the Dillard University Board of Trustees. We are grateful for her contributions to education and look forward to her stewardship here.



studentmarchesErnest Kinchen Jr. is a man of many firsts. He is the first African American to train in the Charity Hospital System; the first African American to intern at Charity Hospital; the first African American to be admitted to staff of Lafayette General Medical Center and Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center in Lafayette, La. Though he is known and acknowledged for being a pioneer in the field of medicine, Dr. Kinchen was also a pioneer back in his days as a Dillard University student.

Back in the early days of the Civil Rights Movement, few HBCUs in the Deep South were protesting, let alone marching or participating in such activities. Student Government leader Ernest Kinchen Jr. wanted to change things at Dillard University. He lobbied for Dillard students to be allowed to quietly, peacefully march from the Dillard Campus entrance along Gentilly Boulevard. He wanted to support the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement and send a strong message that African American students demanded equal rights. His group would become the first college protest in the New Orleans area to demonstrate. His actions made headlines in newspapers and on newscasts across the country.

Kinchen learned to channel his strength of character throughout his life to break through barriers in several professional arenas. Along with his many accomplishments in the medical fields as an African American, (first member of the Lafayette Parish Medical Society), Kinchen also was the first African American to serve on the board of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. He credits his beginnings at Dillard University for helping him become the man he is today.

Recently, Kinchen shared some of his most memorable experiences with Dillard faculty. “My sincere appreciation to the rich Dillard heritage that prepared me well for a journey that has just begun,” he writes.



glenda mcnealFor Dillard University (DU) alumna Glenda McNeal, modesty is the best policy. Though her hard work, dedication and business acumen have made her a leader, she still ascribes much of her success to others. McNeal attributes her achievements to a “significant personal and professional support system” of friends and mentors, as well as to her husband. Her list of accomplishments is long – her affiliations with non-profits and other benefactors, even longer.

McNeal began her professional career as an accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co. and worked her way to more senior positions with prestigious companies such as Salomon Brothers, before landing at American Express. Today, the trailblazer serves as executive vice president and general manager of the Global Client Group within Merchant Services America at American Express.

Not only is McNeal a DU graduate, but she is also a member of the Dillard University board of trustees, where she serves as vice chair, and chair of the nominating and governance committees. She credits Dillard for providing her with a strong foundation to go on to graduate studies and compete with the best Ivy League schools. “Dillard prepared me with a good education and a nurturing environment,” she says. “It gave me the foundation for success, and I consider Dillard a part of my family,” adds the Louisiana native.

The busy mother of two finds time to share her business expertise with other organizations such as the Pepsi Ethnic Consumer Advisory Board, United Steel and the Executive Leadership Council. Her tireless work ethic allows her to share her expertise with others.

“I have a passion to learn and contribute,” she says. “These board positions have allowed me to broaden my thinking.”

Her input has earned her the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from Dillard University, in addition to several other key awards. Named one of the American Express Company’s “150 Great Citizens”, one of The Network Journal’s “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” and a recipient of the Women of Power and Grace Award from the Race for Success Foundation, McNeal is a celebrated business woman with many awards in her cache.

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