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President Obama to Appoint Alumna Cynthia Butler-McIntyre to Key Administrative Post PDF Print E-mail
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CynthiaPresident Barack Obama announced on Sept. 6 his intent to appoint Dillard alumna Cynthia Butler-McIntyre to the board of trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation. The news came as Obama announced his intent to nominate or appoint 28 individuals to “key administrative posts” in the near future.

“I am confident that these outstanding men and women will greatly serve the American people in their new roles,” Obama said, “and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

Butler-McIntyre graduated from Dillard University in 1976 with a B.A. in early childhood education. She is the director of human resources in the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana and the national president of Delta Sigma Theta, a public service organization. She is a national board member of the National Council of Negro Women, a past national board member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the secretary of the Louisiana State Association of School Personnel Administrators. She holds an honorary doctorate of divinity from Christian Bible College of Louisiana and an M.A. in educational administration from the University of New Orleans.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is an independent federal government agency established to "encourage and support research, study and labor designed to produce new discoveries in all fields of endeavor for the benefit of mankind." Governed by a presidentially appointed board of trustees, the foundation seeks to nurture and recognize pioneering individuals and programs that reflect the visionary spirit and pioneering heritage of Christopher Columbus.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation was founded in 1992. It awards individuals for extraordinary work in the fields of agricultural science, life sciences, homeland security, community service, special education and more.

Emergency Update: Tropical Storm Lee PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, September 2, 4:30 p.m.

Dillard University is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Lee as it approaches the Louisiana coast. The storm is expected to bring heavy rainfall and possible flooding to the greater New Orleans region over the next several days. As part of the university’s Emergency Response the Public Safety and Facilities departments have mobilized to prepare the campus for the possibility of heavy wind and rain. Some of the actions implemented are listed below.

The Emergency Response Team will continue to monitor the storm and its impact and updates to the Dillard community will be issued as necessary through and the e2campus text messaging service. If you are not currently signed up for Dillard’s e2campus text messaging service, please click here. To sign up for the city of New Orleans’ emergency text messaging service, please visit

Dillard University will continue to monitor the storm’s progress. The university asks that everyone please exercise caution throughout the next few days. Please drive slowly, and do not drive or walk through standing water. Visit and this page for up-to-date emergency weather information.

Residential Students:

•    All residential students are asked to observe a 12 a.m. curfew.
•    Residents who are leaving for the weekend must sign out at the main desk of their residence hall.  
•    The university asks that guests refrain from visiting campus during this weather advisory.
•    Shuttle service will continue on schedule.
•    The Kearny Hall cafeteria will continue to operate on schedule.
•    Campus physician Dr. Hebert recommends that students stock up on any medications.
•    Flashlights are available at each residence hall main desk for students use.
•    In the event of a power outage:

  • The cafeteria will close, and boxed meals will be delivered to residence halls.
  • Bottled water will be distributed at each residence hall main desk.
  • In the event of a long-term power outage, residents of Williams, Gentilly Gardens and Evangelines will be relocated to the PSB since the building is on an emergency generator.

Public Safety has taken the following storm related precautions:

•    Staffing: All employees placed on standby alert.
•    Inspections: All construction areas have been inspected for safety concerns from high winds.  
•    Street Inspections – catch basins on Virgil Blvd. are cleaned and cleared.
•    Main Gate: Officers at the main gate have been instructed to observe the water levels for vehicles entering and exiting the campus.
•    Command Staff:  monitoring weather in command center.

Facilities has taken the following storm related precautions:

•    Started sandbagging the low areas in front of Kearny Hall.
•    Inspected the construction area in front of Hartzell/Camphor for loose material.
•    Started removing all tree material and loose debris around campus.
•    Removed the in-ground temporary signage.
•    Contacted SDT Waste & Debris Services to pick-up roll-off dumpsters.
•    Started clearing all storm drains.
•    Placed blue floor tarp down in Dent Hall.
•    Contacted the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to secure equipment from potential roof leaks.
•    Directed staff to cover dumpsters that are not emptied by SDT.
•    Assembled Facilities Disaster Team to respond if needed during the holiday weekend for any flooding or power outage issues.
•    Confirmed with Entergy that Dillard is a prioritized customer.
•    Assembled additional supplies that may be required for facilities issues

"Significant Rain Event," September 1-5, 2011 PDF Print E-mail
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To:    Students, Faculty, and Staff

From:    President Lyons

Re:    “Significant Rain Event” During the Next Five Days

Date:    September 1, 2011

This is to advise the campus community to please exercise care and caution in driving and partaking in outdoor activities over the next five days. The New Orleans area will experience a very significant rain event with eight to ten inches of rain and winds possibly up to 25 miles an hour. Mayor Landrieu in a press conference this afternoon made an appeal to all residents to be careful, as the amount of rain will likely cause flooding. The National Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers have made similar announcements and caution people to avoid attempting to drive through standing water. According to the Corps of Engineers, the threat is “not from a surge standpoint, but from a rain standpoint.”

The campus will take appropriate precautions, including inspecting catch basins, gutters, and road drains to make certain they are clear of debris. We advise that you may want to take similar precautions at your residence.

The campus will provide email blasts and text alerts during the course of the weekend to advise you of any changes. We ask that if you are not already signed up to receive emergency alerts from the university, please do so as soon as possible at  In preparation for the long weekend, faculty and staff should refer to the emergency evacuation checklist at the university’s emergency link on the Dillard website.

These challenges not withstanding, please enjoy the Labor Day Weekend and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.

If anyone is interested in tracking the weather, we advise that you sign up at for instant updates.

Ellis Marsalis Center for Music Opens in 9th Ward PDF Print E-mail
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md-ellis-marsalis-1248The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music opened on Aug. 25 in the upper 9th Ward’s Musicians’ Village. The facility, which will function as a performance arts space, a school, and a community center, will begin hosting after-school programs this fall. Classes will emphasize New Orleans’ music and roots, as well as professional and personal development for young men and women.

“Having the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music named for me is more than an honor,” said Marsalis, who graduated from Dillard University in 1955. “It is also an opportunity to realize many of the dreams I have long held for the music and musicians of New Orleans.”

The center, which features a performance hall, a computer lab, a music library, rehearsal rooms and a lounge, cost nearly $7.5 million to construct. Funds came from donors as varied as New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and the National Endowment for theArts, and Harry Connick Jr. and the Dave Matthews Band. The only thing students will have to pay for is insurance on their instruments, which the center will supply.

Marsalis’ long and storied music career has featured a great deal of work as an educator. In 1989, Marsalis was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music by Dillard University. He has served on the faculty at both the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and the University of New Orleans.
Alum Margarette Purvis Appointed CEO of Food Bank for New York City PDF Print E-mail
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margarettepurvisThe Food Bank For New York City, the city’s foremost hunger-relief organization, has appointed Dillard alumna Margarette Purvis to be its new president and chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1, 2011. Purvis previously served as the Food Bank’s vice president of programs and services from 2001 to 2006. She succeeds Dr. Lucy Cabrera, who announced her retirement in January after serving as president and C.E.O. of the Food Bank for the past 23 years.

“I am honored and thrilled to rejoin the Food Bank, an organization I know and care deeply about,” said Purvis, who was selected from a candidate pool of over 200 individuals. “In today’s fragile economic environment, the Food Bank has consistently and successfully tackled food poverty on multiple fronts. I look forward to working closely with the board of directors, donors, staff, and our extensive membership network to address the very real and growing demand for hunger-related services.”

“Margarette is an accomplished and respected leader with a long track record of successfully advocating for the impoverished and underserved both nationally and in New York City,” said Rev. Henry Belin, chair of the Food Bank’s board of directors. “After an extensive search, the board selected Margarette because of her deep knowledge and experience working within our organization, her passion for the issues, and her critical insights into ways we can move forward in tackling hunger at its root causes.”

Purvis graduated from Dillard University in 1995 with a degree in urban studies and public policy. She later studied policy analysis and nonprofit management at the Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School for Social Research. She is the C.E.O. and principal of the Purvis Consulting Group, an Atlanta-based firm she founded in 2007 that develops fundraising strategies for businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. Prior to joining the Food Bank For New York City, Purvis was the developer and director of Bailey House’s INVEST, the country’s first employment training program for people living with HIV and AIDS.

The Food Bank For New York City has been fighting hunger for 28 years through a program of food distribution, income support and nutrition education. The Food Bank helps provide New Yorkers with 400,000 free meals every day.
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