Thursday, December 31, 2015

10 Dillard University Notables of 2015: #10 to #6

For the end of 2015 I am reflecting on a great calendar year. And since everyone has a list, I'll add one of my own. Here are some memorable moments at Dillard for 2015, starting with #10.

#10 Remembering Katrina ten years later

For several weeks the city of New Orleans took time to remember Hurricane Katrina. As most know, Dillard was impacted far greater than any other New Orleans area university. But under the leadership of Dr. Marvalene Hughes, who began her tenure as president only 7 weeks before Katrina hit, the campus has been able to rebound. There is still work to be done, but we continue to strengthen post-Katrina.

#9 Mike Newell is no joke (and neither is Dillard's men's basketball squad)

At the end of 2015, the men's basketball team is 8-4. Over the course of the previous 4 seasons we won 15 games- total. We won 5 last year. Mike Newell came in saying he wanted to be competitive, would recruit good guys with skill, and he has done just that. He is not playing. We just won a game last night by 47 points. FORTY-SEVEN.

#8 Awesome speakers continue to visit Dillard

Brain Food. Jason Riley. Charles Blow. Iyanla Vanzant. Sil Lai Abrams. Michael Morton. Karrine Steffans. Dance Theater of Harlem.

Ortique Lecture on Law and Society. Bryan Stevenson.

My class on hip hop, sex, gender, and ethical behavior. Killer Mike. Shanti Das. Dee-1. Monica Miller. Plus we had numerous guests via Skype including David Banner, Big KRIT, Michael Eric Dyson, James Peterson, Lady Leshurr, Carolina Dirty, Renada Romain, Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Bakari Kitwana, and Lisa Fager.

I'm committed to a wide range of people and a wide range of topics (including the controversial).

#7 DU Concert Choir, Jussie Smollett, Estelle, and UNCF

Empire was a break out hit this year, so it was awesome for our choir to perform one of the hit songs from the show on the UNCF Evening of Stars with Jussie Smollett and Estelle.

#6 Signature Programs- Physics and Film

Dillard has the oldest nursing program in Louisiana and is one of our largest programs. But this year we decided to give more emphasis on physics and film as programs that can be developed to become stellar programs along side our historic nursing program.

Dillard currently ranks second in the nation for producing African Americans with undergraduate degrees in physics. We are one of a few HBCUs with film programs, but being in Louisiana which is one of the top film producing states, we have distinct advantages as our students have worked on independent films, major films like The Butler, and TV shows like CSI New Orleans.

This is the first half of the list. Stay tuned for 5-1...

The Prez