I count it a blessing to have served as your Dillard University National Alumni Association President and your Alumni Representative on the DU Board of Trustees for these past four years. Thank you for entrusting me with these great responsibilities and allow me to acknowledge all administrators, staff personnel, DUNAA Chapters and DU students for your support. Most of all, I’d like to thank our DUNAA National Executive Team for their undying loyalty and support throughout our tenure. Together we’ve made a true difference. DUNAA AND Dillard are better because we were here. “Believe That!”
I’ve learned a lot during this experience and continue to be inspired on a much greater level; inspired to continue loving our Fair Dillard, inspired to continue contributing to her betterment and inspired to always boast of her greatness to those who have yet to know her. This is why all alumni MUST buy into, and cry out “Fair Dillard Forever!” I represented Alumni proudly and pray you feel I represented you well as I sought to help contribute to the growth and prosperity of our beloved Alma Mater, while enhancing the operation and improving the efficiency, effectiveness and level of accountability of DUNAA.
Having graduated from our beloved Alma Mater whether five, ten or fifty years ago, know that there’s always so much more for us personally and professionally to accomplish and to share. Be reminded to stay connected and to “give back” generously and regularly; continuation of the legacy depends on it! Know that what makes us so special and so unique and what makes our experiences at our Fair Dillard relevant still, are those treasured memories and cherished pieces of “lagniappe” that no one else is privy to.
To Current Matriculating Students:
Know that you’ll get all that is your due inside the classroom if you adequately prepare and apply yourselves, are determined, challenge yourselves and make the most of this valuable and yes, expensive investment into your own futures. You can be assertive AND respectful, it just takes some finesse. You can be gracious AND powerful, it simply takes some practice. You can be bold AND beautiful, it only takes confidence and DU is your training ground. You can and should be fearless for causes greater than yourselves and courageous as you seek to be those seeds which grow to great heights as you work to make every effort, superior. When we all seek to do these things, Dillard will not only survive but be raised to the next level!
I remain eternally grateful to have walked those walks, to have earned the right to process down the Avenue of Oaks and to be a living testimony of service to my Alma Mater. Our individual successes together with our Dillard experiences should serve as companions that “no misfortune can weaken, no crime can destroy, and no enemy can alienate.” We are Dillard Men and Women, and we can choose to lean on or to lift up, to be hesitant or courageous, to withdraw or to accept the challenges… Real Dillard Men and Women always choose the latter.
With Much DU Love and Appreciation,
Pamela Higgins Francois, ‘79
Pamela Higgins Francois, ‘79
DUNAA National President
Member, DU Board of Trustees