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New Orleans University Produces Baseball Great PDF Print E-mail
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New Orleans University alum Dave Malarcher was a gentleman, a poet, and a brilliant baseball player

By Ryan Whirty

david malarcher uniformDavid Julius Malarcher was one of the greatest unheralded players and managers in baseball history. But he was also a passionate poet who used the language skills he learned at New Orleans University, one of Dillard’s parent institutions, to express his loves, longings and sorrows. Later in his life, Malarcher thanked NOU for his education in verse:

“Alma mater, alma mater!

-- You who gave me this new birth

To the world of priceless knowledge

Opening wide the doors of earth

You laid aside its mystery

And showed its treasures all to me”

While he attended New Orleans University from 1912-16 — first in the College Preparatory Department, and then for two years as an undergraduate — Malarcher nurtured his baseball talent, playing for and coaching the school’s hardball squad to an unbeaten record.

His gifts caught the eye of C.I. Taylor, who managed the Indianapolis ABCs, one of the best professional African-American teams at the time. When the squad stopped in New Orleans on its way back from a round of winter ball in Cuba, Taylor sought out Malarcher and signed him to a contract on the spot.

Thus began one of the most successful but unheralded careers in Negro League baseball history. After cutting his teeth and learning the game with Taylor and the ABCs, Malarcher inked a deal in 1920 with the Chicago American Giants, who were owned and managed by the great Andrew “Rube” Foster, founder of the first sustained black baseball league and a towering figure in Negro League history.

After Foster began suffering from a crippling health crisis in the late 1920s, Malarcher took over as manager of the American Giants, whom he led to multiple Negro National League pennants and Negro World Series crowns.

But Malarcher never forgot the lessons he learned both on and off the baseball diamond at New Orleans University, which merged with Straight College in the 1930s to form Dillard University. Malarcher’s rich education earned him great respect among his baseball peers. His talent for poetry and modest, well-spoken demeanor led journalists and other players to call him “Gentleman Dave,” a sobriquet he carried with him until his death in May 1982.

“If you mentioned Aristophanes, Pericles, Sophocles, Thucydides, Euripides of Socrates, this scholar knew of their talents,” says Larry Lester, an author and researcher of Negro Leagues history. “Off the playing field, Julius was known for his prose and philosophy.

“Rube’s star student had the gentle demeanor of a lap dog, but had a Rottweiler appetite to win,” Lester adds.

Malarcher’s education began when he was a youngster growing up in Union Parish, La. “My mother educated all of her children to some degree,” he told author John Holway in a transcript for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

After attending both public and private schools in rural Louisiana, he headed to the Big Easy to enroll in the New Orleans University Elementary Department. After graduating from the elementary institution and the preparatory department, he enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program. He funded his education by working for a wealthy white family in return for room, board and clothing.

“I went to New Orleans University and worked for a rich family,” he told Holway. “I worked in the afternoons and morning, cleaning the yard, a yardman as we called it. I was living on the place, had all the food I could eat, and in the summer time they’d give me clothes. Most boys who went to college in those days lived right out in the rich neighborhood, with the rich white people. I was making $2.50 a week, but with food and clothing and a place to stay, and doctors’ bills if necessary, that kept me in school.”

Malarcher’s college experience included, of course, many hours on a baseball diamond, playing third base and serving as captain of the New Orleans University Tigers from 1912-16. In his interview with Holway, Malarcher revealed a quiet pride in his tenure with the Tigers, citing a written history of NOU.

“It says, ‘Between 1913 and 1916 the baseball team lost not a single game,’” he read to Holway. “That’s right. ‘The success was due to two stars, David Malarcher and Robert Williams.’ It says my nickname was Gentleman Dave.”

In addition to representing his school team, Malarcher also played second base for the semi-pro New Orleans Tigers before C.I. Taylor and the ABCs snagged him. A budding professional career, and his induction and service in the Army from 1918-19, ended his tenure at NOU after two years of college education.

Perhaps the greatest thing that happened to Malarcher in his time at NOU was meeting his future wife and lifelong love, Mabel Sylvester, a student and singer at Straight College. In a 1973 letter to former Dillard University librarian Carole Taylor, Malarcher described his instant infatuation with Mabel.

One night in 1914, when he was a student in NOU’s College Preparatory School, Malarcher attended a Flint-Goodridge Medical School graduation ceremony that was held in NOU’s chapel. That’s when he heard Sylvester sing for the first time.

“Hers was the most beautiful and sweet soprano voice I had ever heard,” he wrote to Taylor. “And she was beautiful! ... I shall never forget that night and the thrill of enjoyment which I experienced thereby.

“From time to time thereafter,” he added, “she came to our school to sing on musical programs and individually. I was always there. And on one occasion, when she had sung, I met her. And I fell in love with her; a fact from which I have never recovered.”

Malarcher and Sylvester wed in June 1920 and moved to Chicago soon after he joined Foster’s American Giants. They built a house in the city in 1927 and lived there together until her death in 1946. A year after her passing, Malarcher used his writing skills and feelings of love and loss to pen a book-length poem dedicated to his wife; he donated a copy of the work to the Dillard archives in 1973. Malarcher lived in the same house they constructed for the rest of his life. Although he never completed his bachelor’s degree, he attended night school and became a successful real-estate agent and appraiser.

He died in 1982, but not before leaving an impressive legacy as a Renaissance man. He was an intellectual who parlayed his academic and athletic education into a brilliant career as a fleet-footed, sure-handed, clutch-hitting third baseman and a crafty, tactically brilliant manager. Although not a member of the Hall of Fame, many Negro League experts believe he should be.

He expressed his passion for the game and his pride in the Negro Leagues in a 1974 letter to Joseph Molitor of Chicago’s Old Timers Baseball Association.

“It is to be remembered that the history of American Baseball is far vaster than merely the history of Organized Baseball,” he wrote. “It comprises the great game from the sandlots and campus, the backwoods and the city independent teams to the countless yet independent and un-organized teams through North and South America, Cuba, Mexico and the Virgin Islands. Thus the Old Timers Association of Chicago is one representative of the beginning and continuation of what we so jubilantly describe as ‘The Great American National Game!’”

david malarcherBut Malarcher’s most worthy historical endowment might be his reputation as Gentleman Dave, a respected scholar who savored his educational experiences at one of Dillard’s founding schools. He brought the same passion to all the aspects of his life – his marriage, his poetry, and his university education – that he took to the baseball diamond throughout an historic career.

“Alma mater, alma mater! --

Parent of my progress all! --

You who bred my soul’s refining Stemming its primeval thrall --

O, temporal shrine of Godly love, Our God and you are all above!” --

David Julius Malarcher

This article was originally published in the Fall 2012 issue of the Dillard Today magazine.


 
Dillard University’s Justice Revious O. Ortique Jr. Lecture Series PDF Print E-mail
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An honored tradition of discussing issues of justice and integrity takes place at Dillard University, with the annual lecture series in honor of distiguished alumni and former university trustee, Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. A pioneering civil rights activist for more than 60 years, Revius O. Ortique, Jr. was the first African American elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court. The annual lecture on Law and Society is held in the Georges Auditorium in the Professional Schools and Sciences Building. The lecture is free and open to the public and provides presentations on the broad field of law and society. Each year, a distinguished leader from across the country is invited to discuss a subject related to law and society, and to honor the legacy of Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr.

The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, was the inaugural lecturer for the Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Lecture on Law and Society in November 2010. Born in New York City, Mr. Holder attended public schools there, graduating from Stuyvesant High School, before earning a B.A. in American History from Columbia College in 1973 and a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 1976.

In 2011, Judge Carl Stewart, Chief Judge with the 5th Court of Appeals in New Orleans and a Dillard alumnus, was the keynote speaker. His role as the first African American to serve as head of a court of appeals in New Orleans is a great honor for the Dillard community. President Bill Clinton appointed Stewart to the court in 1994.

This year, Dillard University and the Ortique Lecture Series welcome acclaimed author and activist Michelle Alexander. Discussing mass incarceration and the African American community, Alexander will share notes from her latest book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2010). Book signing to follow.

The Mock Trial Center

The Justice Revius O Ortique, Jr. Mock Trial Center grew out of Dillard University’s commitment to undergraduate students who seek careers in law, government service, criminal justice, social work, public policy, and environmental justice. The Center’s activities are uniquely focused on Justice Ortique’s archival papers, endowed chair in public policy, and pre-law scholarships, and the Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr. Law and Society Annual Lecture.

The Mock Trial Center is also a specialized classroom. In order to maintain the standards of educational excellence and professional knowledge required by the legal community, today’s practitioners need specialized communication skills, particularly in making oral arguments before a judge and jury. The Mock Trial Classroom enables Dillard students to hone practical presentation skills and serve the needs of the broader community.

For more information about the Ortique Lecture Series and the Mock Trial Center, please contact the Office of University Communications at (504) 816-4024.

Justice Revius O. Ortique, Jr.

A pioneering civil rights activist for more than 60 years, Revius O. Ortique, Jr. was the first African American elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court (1992). He was also the first African American to serve as a Civil District Court Judge and the first to serve as Chief Judge of that Court.

As an attorney and judge, he engaged many landmark decisions, including the "equal pay for equal work" decision and had a national reputation for fairness and integrity. Listed in Who's Who in America (for over 20 years); Who's Who in American Law (2nd edition); Who's Who in the Southwest; Who's Who in Black America; and Who's Who in the World (2004 edition). Justice Ortique was a respected diplomat and proven negotiator. He served as the U.S. Representative to the 54th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations and was honored by the government of Japan as a "World Opinion Maker". He served on five national boards under five different presidents. After his retirement from the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1994 he continued his passion for improving society by leading a trade delegation to Haiti to assist in writing a new constitution, and also led a judicial summit with the Supreme Court of Costa Rica.

Another mission he took on after his retirement, at the age of 70, was Chair of the New Orleans Aviation Board. While under his watch, the New Orleans International Airport underwent an $850 million renovation and expansion program and was renamed the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in honor of the legendary jazz trumpeter.

Over the course of his life Justice Ortique held numerous leadership positions, nationally and locally, including President of the National Bar Association; President of two prominent African American professional associations, the Southwest Bar Association and the Louis A. Martinet Society; and a member of the Louisiana Ethics Board, to name a few.

Justice Ortique earned his Juris Doctorate from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a Masters of Arts from Indiana University and is a 1947 graduate of Dillard University. He continued his allegiance and commitment to his alma mater, Dillard University, by serving on the Board of Trustees for more than 40 years. In addition, the Justice Revius O. Ortique Jr. Chair in Political Science and Social Justice, valued at $1 million was named in his honor. An endowed professorship has also been established in his honor at the Southern University Law Center. Hew as the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, citations, and six honorary doctorate degrees, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dillard University in 2006.


 
AT&T Announces Major Grant for Dillard University PDF Print E-mail
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ATT donationAT&T announced a $300,000 grant to benefit Dillard University’s Pre-Collegiate Emerging Scholars Program on Saturday, Nov. 10, in the DUICEF Building on the Dillard University campus. Emerging Scholars students and their parents attended the presentation.

“We are very excited to receive this support from AT&T,” said Theresa DeGruy, program director. “We look forward to using the funds to help our scholarship efforts for the Pre-Collegiate Emerging Scholars Program. This financial support means more of our students will be able to attend college and pursue their dreams.”

“A surefire way to ensure future growth and prosperity for the New Orleans region is to focus on educating today’s students,” said Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, New Orleans City Council member. “I am proud to support efforts that work toward keeping our students in school and preparing them for both higher education and future careers.”

“It is an honor to support Dillard University and the work they are doing to help stem the high school dropout crisis in our country,” said Sonia Perez, president, AT&T Louisiana. “By educating today’s youth and helping them prepare for the future, we can ensure the future workforce of our company and our country will be stocked with qualified employees who have the 21st century skills that American businesses need to remain competitive in the digital, global economy.”

The Pre-Collegiate Emerging Scholars Program is a free college preparatory program designed to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to graduate from high school and enroll in college. Students can begin the program in eighth, ninth or 10th grade. They receive tutoring in reading, writing, math and science, as well as one-on-one mentoring. Students are encouraged to remain in the program throughout high school; they are taken on college tours and given assistance with the college admissions process, including ACT/SAT prep and help applying for financial aid. Students who complete the program and matriculate at Dillard receive a scholarship. The program meets every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and parents participate in the first hour.


 
Dillard's Mass Comm Creates News Broadcast PDF Print E-mail
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Mass CommWith a highly advanced newsroom and film editing facilities for higher education, Dillard University's mass communication program is making good use of its equipment.

Dillard’s mass communication students launched their first newscast this week. The 37 minute broadcast is anchored by graduating senior Kellie Brown and Toi Thornton who is a junior. The first segment consist of stories on the 2012 presidential election, the Marguerite Washington shooting, the nursing school’s 70th anniversary, the voting dilemma of the Crescent City Connection Tolls, campus construction and more. There is a special segment by Dillard’s president, Dr. Walter Kimbrough who talked candidly about his future plans for the university. And no newscast is complete without sports and entertainment news. Students, faculty and staff can find out the latest on cross country and women’s volleyball. Reporter Kandice LeBeauf who is a junior does a feature on the HBO Treme Series with interviews from local actor Wendell Pierce, jazz legend Kermit Ruffin and jazz violinist Michael Ward.

“Kudos to the mass communication students,” said Janella Newsome, facilitator for Dillard’s newscast. “They worked diligently, in spite of the mental and technical challenges to bring the broadcast to fruition. I am so very proud of them and this opportunity is another element they can add to their resume reels.”

The rebroadcast airs daily on the campus cable channel 4. It’s schedule to air on New Orleans Access Television (Cox Cable) at the following times:

Monday, 9:00 AM, Ch. 99

Monday, 9:00 PM, Ch. 99

Tuesday, 4:30 AM, Ch. 76

Saturday, 4:00 PM, Ch. 76

The Monday times will be fixed, the other times are subject to change.

The newscast can also be seen on the internet; click on the following link. https://vimeo.com/52700099


 
Coronation 2012 PDF Print E-mail
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Coronation Night - Nov. 15, 2013


Locations and times for this year's Nov. 15 Coronation Ceremony will be posted by Nov. 1, 2013. Please check this page then.

 
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