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"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.
Professor to Host Radio Show Promoting Financial Preparation for Hurricane Season PDF Print E-mail
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Kemberley_Washington_smDillard University accounting instructor Kemberley Washington willhost a new talk radio show designed to help New Orleans residents prepare financially for the threat of a hurricane. The show, called “Disaster Finance,” will debut on WBOK-AM 1230 on Monday, Aug. 29 at 1 p.m., and air weekly for the next three months. August 29 marks the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

“Oftentimes we are warned about evacuating, storing canned goods or protecting our homes, but rarely are we provided with much needed advice to prepare financially for a natural disaster,” said Washington, a certified public accountant.

The show, which is sponsored by the Capital One Financial Corporation, will feature Washington and other financial analysts discussing topics such as disaster tax credits, insurance coverage, dealing with the IRS, and documents to bring during an evacuation.

“Our goal is to educate the community so that, in the event of a hurricane or another emergency, New Orleanians can remain financially solvent,” said Washington, who writes a weekly personal finance column for The New OrleansTribune called “Money, Power, Respect.”

To listen live to the show online, visit on Mondays at 1 p.m. To learn more about the program, follow Kemberley Washington on Twitter @kemwashcpa.
24th Annual UNCF Walk for Education PDF Print E-mail
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uncfwalkThe United Negro College Fund will host its 24th annual Walk for Education in New Orleans on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The 5K run/walk will start in the Audubon Park Riverview area behind the zoo.

Every year Dillard and Xavier universities compete to see which school has the best turnout and raises the most funds. Help Dillard come out on top!

A minimum pledge of $30 through Sep. 28 entitles you to a race number, official race day T-shirt, free food and drinks, and admission to Audubon Zoo. Click here to learn more and to register. And remember to join Dillard University's team!

For more information, please contact Dillard University's Travis Chase at (504) 816-4713 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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