Seniors celebrate Founders’ Day 2007

Members of Class of 2008 rose to occasion, fully dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, to celebrate Founders’ Day. Held in Lawless Chapel Nov. 14, seniors, faculty and guests gathered to commemorate the 139th anniversary of Dillard University. The annual event embarked on the history of Dillard University, from the year it was founded in 1869 to the cur¬rent year of 2007. Dr. Marvalene Hughes, president of Dillard, spoke upon the val¬ues of the University and the preservation of them today. As she stood among the grad¬uates of today, she expressed the strength of the school and way it stood with cour¬age, determination, tenacity and will. “Katrina was unable to unearth Dillard. All the struggles of the past ena¬bled Dillard to survive,” said Hughes. “Dillard is in good hands [and] will enter into a new era.” Ronnell Perry, president of the Student Government Association and Jasmine Haynes, vice president of the senior class delivered the Founders’ Day tribute. The tribute allowed the audience to better understand the story behind Dillard. Perry and Haynes both reflected on school’s past and the present, praising its history and res¬toration. “Gleaming white is being re¬stored and spacious green is back,” said Perry. In honor of Founders’ Day, Dillard welcomed its speaker Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of The Univer¬sity of Maryland, Baltimore County. Co-author of the two books, Beating the Odds and Overcoming the Odds, Hrabowski addressed the graduating class with hope for future and a life-lesson prep talk. Breaking the ice in the chapel, Hrabowski ex¬pressed his respect for the school, compli¬menting the University Scholars and Presi¬dent. “You represent our best. You are the privileged ones,” said Hrabowski. In his short, but detailed speech, Hrabowski discussed what it takes to be great. He let the soon- to-be graduates know that every step they will take will leave a mark. As he reminisced on life-challenging issues on his own campus, he told the crowd that “you are not a victim.” “You’re in the middle of a story, what will do with this chance?” Hrabowski asked the students. “At first I thought that this was just a man¬datory event to attend,” said Cynthia Buntin, a senior accounting major from Nashville, Tenn. “This day was actually nourishing to me and gave me a reason to appreciate Dil¬lard more.” Along with a well-given speech, Hrabowski extended his hand a little more and gave Dr. Hughes a reward for $250,000, allowing her to use it in any way. The University choir sang two selections filling the chapel with praise. The Rever¬end Gail E. Bowman ended the event with a hopeful prayer for seniors to take with them in the future. The Founders’ Day Convocation is an annu¬al event that prepares upcoming graduates to become prestigious alumni. The Class of 2008 stood proud among its future alma mater that Sunday evening, honoring its his¬tory of the University and the footsteps it leaves behind.