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Dillard Senior Participates in HBCU Week in Washington, D.C. PDF Print E-mail
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Marina Banks, '16 at an event in November for the School of Social Sciences Inaugural Symposium. Photo By L. Kasimu Harris 

By Ajia Richardson, '16

Marina Banks was one of eighty-three students who attended the HBCU All-Star Induction in September during the HBCU Week Conference in Washington, DC. For two days Banks mixed with some of the best and brightest students, who represented seventy different HBCUs across the nation. Moreover, Vice President Joe Biden and the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan were also in attendance to discuss the importance of HBCUs’ role in the economy. The summit worked to advance President Barack Obama’s Executive Order 13532, promoting excellence, innovation and sustainability at historically black colleges and universities.

“The conference was a great way to network with other top HBCU students and companies that want to help out minority students,” Banks said. As a student ambassador, she serves as a liaison between Dillard and the federal government. President Walter Kimbrough expressed his excitement about her accomplishment as well as what it means for Dillard. For the first two years of this new program Dillard has had students selected each year and Kimbrough said that meets his expectations.  He also commended Banks’ involvement on and off campus, including several exceptional internship experiences such as working with the UNCF. “She is a very gifted woman and will have a tremendous professional career,” said President Dr. Kimbrough.

Banks, a graduating senior majoring in Sociology, grew up on the west coast, in Pasadena, Calif. She began her academic career at Dillard University in 2012, after receiving a Dean’s Scholarship. From an early age, Banks has wanted to attend law school and help people. She said: “I majored in sociology because I have a passion for improving the social issues in our society.”

New York Times Best Selling Author Talks Domestic Violence PDF Print E-mail
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Photo by Norwood Sears

Staff Reports 


The University dedicated all of October to a series of functions to raise awareness of domestic violence. The highest profile event featured the New York Times bestselling author Karrine Steffans, who delivered the second Brain Food Lecture of 2015 on October 21, in Georges Auditorium. Steffans’ lecture focused on “Violence as a Language.” Steffans says she’s always been in abusive relationships. “My first abusive relationship was with my mother and, so abuse has always been my language. It took me 33 years to learn a new language …,” Steffans said in a Huffington Post article. In addition to Steffans, Ms. Louisiana USA, Candice Bennatt shared her experience of abuse during the discussion.

The University also hosted an All Faiths Rally and March Against Domestic Violence, on October 22, 2015. The rally began on Kearny Terrace and featured three dynamic local ministers representing several religious faiths.  Pastor Shawn Moses Anglim, Dr. C.S. Gordon Jr., and Rev. Earnest Salsberry provided words of encouragement to domestic violence victims.  The rally culminated in a one-mile march in the Gentilly community.

Other happenings included a “Love Shouldn’t Hurt” workshop sponsored by the Faculty and Staff Development Committee, the Metropolitan Women’s Center, NOPD Domestic Violence Unit, and Dillard’s Public Safety Department. Also there was a line dancing fundraiser to benefit the New Orleans Family Justice Center; student fine arts performances, spoken word, self-defense classes and a “Pillows of Peace” initiative where pillows were collected and donated to Battered Women’s Shelters in the metropolitan area.

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Homecoming Parade 2015 PDF Print E-mail
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Photo by Norwood Sears

Staff Reports

Homecoming Weekend 2015 was filled with a plethora of activities including the annual parade that showcased the University’s royal court, dance teams and support groups. President Walter M. Kimbrough led the parade in a convertible and Miss Dillard Kamara Dunn and Mister Dillard Dakarai Moton also greeted the crowd from a horse drawn carriage, followed by the homecoming court. The parade also featured Mardi Gras Indians, St. Mary’s Academy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Charter High School and Lafayette Academy marching bands among others.

Dillard Celebrates Founders' Day PDF Print E-mail
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Garrett Morris at Founders' Day

Photo by Bernie Saul 

Staff Reports 

Actor, comedian Garrett Morris delivered the Founders’ Day Address at Dillard University on Sunday, October 18, in Lawless Memorial Chapel. His speech touched on a plethora of subjects ranging from growing up in New Orleans and his student days at Dillard, to the current social climate of America and telling the students “You can do it.”   

The event was a celebration of 146 years as an institution of higher education. Dillard traces its history back to its predecessors Straight College and New Orleans University.

“This Founders’ Day Convocation has added significance because we are celebrating two other milestones at the university,” said Yolanda W. Page, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs. “Along with the storied history of the institution and its founders, we are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Theatre Program and the 60th anniversary of Lawless Memorial Chapel,” she added.

As a native of New Orleans and 1958 graduate of Dillard, Page says Morris was an obvious choice for the 2015 convocation speaker, and provides the opportunity to give special recognition for the oldest historically black university theatre program in the country. 

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Dillard’s VP of Institutional Advancement Marc A. Barnes Named “Outstanding Professional Fundraiser of the Year” PDF Print E-mail
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award presented during 31st Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon

Juli Smith Pattison presents award to Marc Barnes

(NEW ORLEANS) – The Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) named Marc A. Barnes, vice president of advancement for Dillard University, the  “Outstanding 2015 Fundraiser of the Year.”

Barnes has served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement since February 2013. This is not his first stint with the university, having worked in Dillard’s Development Department in various positions from 2000-2009. Before his return to Dillard, Barnes served as Director of Development at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. (NOJHFF). At NOJHFF, he was responsible for the development of a major gifts fundraising operation and the launch of a major capital campaign designed to support the renovation of the Jazz & Heritage Center.  In his current role, he is responsible for all of the university’s fundraising efforts, alumni relations, marketing and communications and community outreach.

Helping to lead a fundraising campaign that yielded over $45 million dollars in four years at Dillard University highlights just one of many major financial contributions that Barnes has made over his 13 year career as a fundraiser.

A dedicated community servant, Barnes serves on the finance council at St. Peter Claver Church, where he is also a lector and co-coordinates the marriage ministry with his wife, Kiki.

He is immediate past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater New Orleans Chapter and is a member of the Louisiana Advisory Council for UNCF.  He serves on the Board of Directors at St. Augustine High School and the advisory board of St. Mary’s Academy.

Barnes was one of seven individuals and organizations recognized during the 31st annual National Philanthropy Day ® Luncheon held at the Audubon Tea Room on November 12.  The theme for the day was “Change the World with a Giving Heart.” The AFP has nearly 30,000 individual and organizational members in over 230 chapters throughout the world who raise over $100 billion annually.

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