’87 alum Badon speaks at 147th Founder’s Day

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 10, 2016) – Dillard alumna Therese Badon called networking – “a genuine connection with others” – the foundation for success and emphasized the need for “grace and grit” in her speech at Founder’s Day on Oct. 23 in Lawless Chapel.

The event celebrated the 147th anniversary of DU.

Badon (Class of 1987), who also worked at Dillard as executive director of alumni relations and annual giving, said, “No matter how high your GPA may be or how impressive your resume is, the foundation for everything else to stand on is your ability to have genuine connections with others.”

She defined “grit” as firmness of character and “grace” as favor or good-will.

Addressing 2017 seniors wearing their caps and gowns for the first time, along with members of the Dillard community, Badon noted the annual celebration offers “a chance for us to celebrate Dillard’s rich, illustrious past in anticipation of its promising future.”

She said Dillard grooms its students to make sure they are ready to take a seat at the table.

“If we are not at the table, we will be on the menu,” she said.

Badon encouraged students to learn the art of conversation: “Don’t let social media be your only tool…Log off sometime and get to know people personally – IRL.”

In addition to serving on the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee, the notary public is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the wife of state Rep. Austin Badon Jr. She has been employed with UNCF since 2005, currently serving as vice president of development.

Dillard was founded in 1930 by merging Straight college and New Orleans University, institutions that dates to 1869. The university was named in honor of James Hardy Dillard, an academician dedicated to educating African-Americans. Affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church, Dillard espouses its commitment to education, community, excellence and heritage.

(Tassion Lott-Minor contributed to this report.)