DUNAA’s National President Pamela Francois Bid us Fare Ye Well

Mrs. Pamela Francois, National President of the Dillard University National Alumni Association (DUNAA) www.dunaa.org

Mrs. Pamela Francois,  Outgoing National President of the Dillard University National Alumni Association (DUNAA) http://www.dunaa.org

Fellow Alumni

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


Pam’s Presidential Farewell


DU Alumnus Edward Buckles is Fundraising for his First Feature Film


The film program may be new at Dillard University but 2015 graduate Edward Buckles has hit the ground running. Mr. Buckles is currently on a grassroots fundraising campaign for his first feature film concerning the kids who experienced Hurricane Katrina. DU Family please support this young gifted film maker by making a donation. Make sure you put DU Alum on the donation comments so he can know that the Dillard Family supports its own. Please read his statement and watch video links concerning his film “Katrina Babies.” Continue reading

DU Alumna Kelly Nash is blazing historic trails in physics

Kelly Nash DU Physics Alumna

Kelly Nash DU Physics Alumna

You may not know this but Dillard University has an awesome physics department!! It’s graduates like alumna Kelly Nash are blazing historic trails in the field of physics for people of color and women. Please read the following article about Ms. Nash by clicking on the link.


Dillard University Alumnus & Jazz Legend Harold Battiste is now Beyond the Oaks

Photo by: Elsa Hahne

Photo by: Elsa Hahne

Dillard University Family it saddens us to announce that Dillard University Alumnus and Jazz Legend Harold Battiste passed away at 83 today. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers and thoughts during this time. Please click the link for more information!



An Obscene Use of $400 Million by Dr. Walter Kimbrough

Dr. Walter Kimbrough 7th President of Dillard University

Dr. Walter Kimbrough 7th President of Dillard University

Inside Higher Ed today published a new article in which Dr. Walter Kimbrough challenged and question the recent $400 million gift to Harvard University and what this wealthy gift means to wealthy universities. Please read the following links

When a Mother Weeps Play Dedicated to the Memory of Dillard Student


The production “When a Mother Weeps” will premiere on the campus of Dillard University on Friday, 6/5/2015 at 7:30PM in the Cook Center on the campus of Dillard University. This compelling theatrical performance depicts the life of a young college student who is murdered while attempting to reduce crime and gang violence in her town.

The play is dedicated to Marguerite Lajoy Washington who was murdered in New Orleans in 2012, right after she entered her freshman year at Dillard University.  Marguerite was the daughter and the sister if Dillard University alumnus Margaret Washington and Kendall Washington. This play is a must-see for both young and old and is intended to challenge us all to make a difference in our city.

This play is being produced by Mavis P. McCall. Mrs. McCall is a Licensed Clinical Social worker with over thirty years of practice in the New Orleans area. She retired from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services in 2012. She is the founder of Akua Press. Her first literary work which was published in 2005, included a teacher’s manual, children’s book and DVD. In 2008, she traveled to Wari, Nigeria as the featured speaker of a youth conference.

You can hear Mavis McCall discuss the play on Friday morning at 7:30AM on WHIZ 102.3 FM.  DU Alumna Margaret Washington will also be there to share my views on the impact of crime and violence on the family.

The play “When a Mother Weeps” will premiere Friday

Performance times are June 5th at 7:30, June 6th at 2:30 and 7:30, and June 7th at 2:30 and 7:30. There will also be a dinner/community collaborative to be held on the campus on Friday, June 5th from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. These tickets are also available in a dinner/play package or individual dinner ticket.


Dillard University Alumna & Opera Diva Valerie Francis Set to Perform This Summer

Valerie Francis

Valerie Francis

Dr. Valerie Francis noted Dillard University Opera Diva will perform this summer at the old historic St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church!

Dr. Valerie Francis together with daughter Imani Sarai Francis, soprano, and Wilfred Delphin, piano, will be performing art songs, arias, Negro spirituals and sacred music, at the beautiful, century old sanctuary of St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, along St. Charles Avenue and Broadway, in New Orleans, on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at 7:30 PM. Continue reading

Dillard University Special Graduation Acknowledgments

At each graduation Dr. Walter Kimbrough takes a few moments to acknowledge several students for not only their professional and academic achievements but to highlight students who are university legacies, overcome special obstacles and to tell stories of Dillard University students making a difference in their communities. These graduation “Shout Outs’ are truly special and personal and is one of the many reasons that makes the HBCU experience unforgettable. We encourage you to read these special acknowledgements. Click the link to read the acknowledgements


Denzel Washington gives 2015 Commencement Speech at Dillard University


The Dillard University Class of 2015 walked proudly down the Avenue of the Oaks to receive acknowledgment of their successful completion of their academic journey at Dillard University. Once seated they waited not only to obtain their hard earned degree but to hear words of wisdom from award winning actor Denzel Washington.

The Official Denzel Washington Commencement Speech Video Continue reading