Dillard University Prepares to Honor Dr. William Sutton of the Class of 1953

Dillard University will host a reception unveiling the

William Sutton Prize in honor of Dr. William Sutton, ’53, Continue reading


2013 Baccalaureate Speaker Rev. Otis Moss III

Rev. Otis Moss III is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching prophetically that the message of love and justice are inseparable companions, forming the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has a unique gift to communicate across generations. His creative bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. His intergenerational preaching gift has made Rev. Moss a popular speaker on college campuses, at conferences and churches across the globe. Rev. Moss is a native of Cleveland, OH, an honors graduate of Morehouse College, Yale Divinity School, and he has earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological Seminary.

Rev. Moss is highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz and Hip-Hop music. The work and legacy of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, OH, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation.

He is the former pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, GA., his first pastorate, where the church grew from 125 members to over 2100 disciples during his tenure. Rev. Moss is currently Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL. Pastor Moss is an accomplished author. He published his first book, Redemption in a Red Light District in 1999 and co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix; How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation in 2006. His sermons articles and poetry have appeared in publications such as Power in the Pulpit II: America’s Most Effective Preachers, Joy To The World: Sermons From America’s Pulpit, Sound The Trumpet: Messages of Hope for Black Men, The Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama, Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit Journal.

He is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ, carrying dual standing in both denominations. He is a life member of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, board member of the Christian Century Magazine, Chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference.

He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Fl, a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate. They are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.


Patrick O. Jefferson Dillard University 2013 Honors Convocation Speaker

Patrick Jefferson Dillard University 2013 Honors Convocation Speaker

By Jerome Bailey Jr.

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:04
NEW ORLEANS (April 11, 2013)—Using the refrain, “Don’t stop now,” state Rep. Patrick Jefferson urged students at Dillard’s Honors Convocation on March 26 to be “ready, prepared and willing” to reach their goals and make a difference.

Jefferson, a 1999 Dillard graduate who represents District 11, was keynote speaker in Lawless Chapel for the occasion honoring students with 3.2 and above grade-point averages for spring 2012 and fall 2012.

Jefferson quoted former Morehouse University President Benjamin Elijah Mays, saying, “The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.

“It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.

“Not failure, but low aim is sin.”

Jefferson reminded students that choices lie between birth and death – such as whether to party or study and whether to skate through or soar through – along with “some forks in the road and knives in the back, but don’t stop now.”

He said everyone must learn to think for themselves; love, honor and obey your parents; and be wary of so-called friends.

He added, “There is a clear and present danger in following the crowd. In doing what everybody else is doing, you can be guilty only by association…The root of education encourages you to continue to educate, explore empower and learn to think for yourselves.”

The legislator said recognition at the program “represents that you have labored, questioned, sacrificed and, no doubt, along the way, you have chipped a tooth or two, scraped your knees, fell down a few times, shed a pound or two, lost a little sleep, left a friend or two behind.”

Even so, he said, honored students have shown themselves to be determined, and “Don’t stop now.”

Jefferson cited current issues facing America, gun violence, global warming, constitutionality of same-sex marriage, North Korea arms, education and tax reform, increasing student loan debt, conflict in the Middle East, and still the challenge of the “color lie.”

He asked students to live life with passion “because passion is power.” He called for civility and character, noting, “America, Louisiana, Dillard and your families are all depending on you.”

Some 155 students were listed on the Dean’s List with 3.5 or higher in fall 2012, with 180 listed on the honor roll with 3.2-3.49. In spring 2012, 130 students were on the Dean’s List, with another 147 on the honor roll. Seniors lined up at 10:45 to march in along with honored students.

Jefferson, a native of Arcadia, served as an administrative assistant to former President Samuel Dubois Cook from 1994-1998 and as dean of students from 1998-2001. A lawyer who was elected to the Louisiana House in 2011, he also serves on the Board of Supervisors for the Southern University System. He also is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.


Dreamgirls Special Encore Performance 2013 Pre-Commencement Scholarship Benefit

Dillard University is pleased to present the Broadway sensation Dreamgirls performed by Dillard University students with a special guest appearance by Tony Award and Grammy Award winner Jennifer Holliday. Ms. Holliday has been proclaimed by both critics and fans alike as one of history’s greatest Broadway legends. Over 25 years ago, Miss Holliday’s show-stopping, heart-wrenching performance of the torch ballad “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” in the smash hit Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, made her a household name and introduced her big soulful voice to the world. The event will be staged in Lawless Chapel & Assembly Center at 8:00 p.m. on May 9, 2013. Individual tickets are $25.00 each.

In previous years, this annual fundraiser has featured Grammy-winning talent such as Nancy Wilson, Roberta Flack, the Four Tops, Patti LaBelle, and the Chi-Lites, as well as members of the O’Jays, the Manhattans, the Temptations, and New Edition. It has blossomed into a great family event and a staple of New Orleans’ spring entertainment calendar. Most significantly, important scholarship funds have been raised to assist deserving and highly motivated students.

The Dillard University Theater, now in its 77th season is one of the oldest HBCU theater programs in the country. The theater program provides rigorous professional training in a liberal arts context for future actors, directors, designers, managers, teachers, scholars and related theatre occupations. Committed to the aesthetics of Black theatre and creating globally aware artists, the Dillard theatre program perpetuates the highest standards possible as evidenced by its nomination and subsequent recognition during the 25th Annual Big Easy Theater Awards in New Orleans. Their production of “Two Trains Running” was the winner of a 2012 Big Easy Theater Award for Best University Production. The awards were announced by the Foundation for Entertainment, Development and Education (FEDE) which provides grants to support arts and education.

Jennifer Holliday

Jennifer Holliday has been proclaimed by both critics and fans alike as one of history’s greatest Broadway legends. Over 25 years ago, Miss Holliday’s show-stopping, heart-wrenching performance of the torch ballad “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” in the smash hit Broadway musical, Dreamgirls, made her a household name and introduced her big soulful voice to the world. Her portrayal of Effie “Melody” White, a role which she co-created, not only brought theatergoers to their feet for 8 performances a week, but also garnered her a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and her first Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocalist.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Holliday went straight from the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Choir to the Broadway stage in the Big Apple. One Sunday, while singing in the church choir, she was discovered by dancer Jamie Patterson who was touring in the national company of A Chorus Line. Jamie not only set up an audition for Jennifer in New York for the show Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With God, but he also bought her an airline ticket and made arrangements for her to stay with his aunt. During the audition with the show’s creator and director, Vinnette Carroll, Jennifer sang her favorite hymn, “God Will Take Care Of You.” And that He did. She was hired for the show that same day.

Jennifer considers herself to be a Broadway Baby and theater continues to be a significant part of her career. Her recent theater credits include Sing Mahalia Sing: The Mahalia Jackson Story, Downhearted Blues: The Bessie Smith Story, Harlem Suite (with Aretha Franklin), Chicago (starring as “Mama Morton”), Grease (starring as “Teen Angel”) and Black Nativity (starring as the “Angel of God”). Jennifer also reprised her role as Effie to sold-out crowds and rave reviews in the 2007 Theater of the Stars production of Dreamgirls at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Jennifer’s arrangement and powerful recording of “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” remains her biggest chart-topping success to date. The song was #1 on the R&B Charts for four consecutive weeks and a Top 40 hit on the Pop Charts. From 1985 to 1992 she has enjoyed solid public support with five Top 10 singles on the R&B and Dance Charts. The millennium brought her not one, but two “Best of Jennifer Holliday” CD Collections, which have received favorable response.

Jennifer has sung all over the world and continues to perform concert dates regularly with her 14 piece band. Her current repertoire showcases new songs, jazz classics, pop standards, show tunes and much more. She is thrilled to perform live with many of America’s most distinguished symphony and philharmonic orchestras, among them: The Boston Pops with Keith Lockhart, The San Diego Symphony with Marvin Hamlisch, The Rochester Philharmonic with Jeffrey Tyzik, the Philadelphia Symphony with Peter Nero, and the Cincinnati Pops with Eric Kuntzel, just to name a few!

This production is sponsored by:

BP Foundation, AT &T, Sodexo, and Pel Hughes

Dillard University “Brain Food” Lecture

Dillard President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough begins his new lecture series “Brain Food” on April 18, 2013. The inaugural guest speaker is Georgetown Professor, author and public intellectual, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. The series will be held in Lawless Chapel, starting at 7 p.m. Be sure to arrive on time, as the free event will be at full capacity.

This event continues a tradition of Dillard University in sponsoring lectures and cultural performance open to the community and the Dillard University student body.


DU Alumnus State Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard, is the new chairman of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus.

DU Alumnus State Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard, is the new chairman of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus.

The caucus elected Bracy to serve a two-year term. He replaces Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton of Greensboro, who served the last two years.

Bracy said he and caucus members will work for quality education for all children, equal rights and pay for minorities and women, transparent government and the protection of voting rights.


Evan Cleaver Former DU Point Guard plays in hit movie “The Host”

New Orleans) Evan Cleaver, former point guard for the Dillard Bleu Devils basketball team, has found success on the big stage as he plays a part in the movie “The Host,” which is directed by Andrew Niccol and written by “Twilight Series” author Stephenie Meyer. “It has been an amazing journey,” said Cleaver. “After more than seven years of work and over 55 auditions, this is my biggest opportunity and it’s a beautiful blessing.”

Although born and raised in Kansas City, Cleaver is currently an adjunct professor at Dillard University and teaches public speaking. However, Cleaver came to Dillard in 2002 as a student-athlete. After one year at a junior college, he transferred to Dillard and was the starting point guard for three solid years and led his team to the Sweet 16 round of the NAIA tournament.

“The Dillard University athletics department helped me in my growth tremendously,” Cleaver said. “Being there taught me to have life goals, and because of Dillard University, I learned about discipline, hard work, and how to be physically and mentally strong.”

At Dillard, Cleaver majored in theatre and graduated in 2005. He then attended California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and received his Masters in Fine Arts (acting) in 2009.

When asked what inspired him throughout the years, he ended with this simple yet powerful statement.

“Sidney Poitier was my influence,” said Cleaver.

Poitier was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor.