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Day of Service kicks off Dillard University's 150th anniversary of founding

$250-per-person fundraising gala, promotions among several scheduled events through the year

By India Walton, Editor-in-chief
On January 18, 2019

Austin Aubert/Courtbouillon
Mister Sophomore Seantrell Lemar, a  junior biology major from Vacherie, cleans up trash as part of Dillard’s Day of Service on Jan. 12. More than 700 people volunteered in the expanded effort to kick off Dillard’s 150th anniversary by helping beautify neighborhoods around the city and working with non-profits.

NEW ORLEANS (January 18, 2019) – A major Day of Service kicked off university participation in the year-long 150th anniversary of Dillard University’s founding, with more than 700 students, faculty, and staff working at 22 locations.

Along with typical annual events being heightened and expanded, the university’s milestone sesquicentennial year will be celebrated with a $250-per-person gala to support the university’s SAFE fund at the end of the semester and new logos, billboards and banners on display.

Dr. Sheryl Haydel, director of communications and marketing, said, “We will have the 150th represented throughout the year. Whether it be a logo on all university programs, fliers and event banners, everyone will know we are in a milestone year.”

Sodexo and Raising Canes were sponsors for Day of Service on Friday, Jan. 11. A total of 645 students, 27 faculty, 67 staff and approximately 16 alumni volunteered to work at the locations, which included five non-profit organizations.

It was followed by the Martin Luther King Jr. Service on Tuesday, Jan. 15, with the Rev. Pat Watson of Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries as speaker.

The formal 150th anniversary gala will be held Saturday, May 11, at the Hyatt Regency, as part of the alumni weekend and graduation. Sponsorships range from $150,000 for the Moving Dreamers to Achievers category to $5,000 for the bronze category. Proceeds will go to the SAFE Fund (Student Assistance for Emergencies), created by President Walter Kimbrough, which provides financial support to students who face having to leave school because of short-term emergencies.

Haydel said promotions started Dec. 17 with a WDSU-TV commercial during the Saints vs. Panthers game. It is now running during “This is Us” and “The Voice” shows. The six-month campaign will end in June. Spots are running (event promotion and “DU Moments”) on 102.9 FM. Billboards at three locations will remain up through June 30. RTA bus wraps will be featured all year. There are airport ads at three terminals. And around campus can be seen banners in buildings, on lampposts and long the fence.

Along with a more active presence on the Dillard University social media pages, Haydel said a SnapChat account has been created, and a new app will be launched providing information about the university and more. The homecoming parade is set to have an expanded route through Gentilly, and a Dinner En Bleu will be hosted with live music and food.

Haydel said, “We were encouraged to be creative. And you didn’t have to twist our arms because this is such a unique opportunity to celebrate and flex our creative muscles.

“I know I wanted to make sure the entire city knew that Dillard University was and continues to be a pivotal part of our city, region, nation and world.”

“Not many organizations, businesses or universities can say they are 150 years old. It takes a great deal of resolve, vision and commitment to still be thriving and educating some of the country’s brightest minds. We have much to celebrate.”

The full listing of events include:

  • Bleu Devil Classic- Feb. 16
  • Honors Convocation- March 26
  • Alumni Reunion Weekend- May 9-11
  • Baccalaureate 2019- May 10
  • Commencement 2019- May 11
  • 150th Anniversary Gala- May 11 (Hyatt Regency – Visit to purchase tickets)
  • Dinner En Bleu- Oct. 18
  • Coronation- Oct. 19
  • Founders Day Convocation- Oct. 20
  • Homecoming Parade- Nov. 9

DU community partners include:

  • Louisiana SPCA Animal Shelter
  • Second Harvest Food Bank
  • New Orleans Habitat for Humanity
  • City of New Orleans Youth Study Center
  • Bethany United Methodist Church
  • Pentecost Baptist Church
  • City of New Orleans- Office of Sustainability and Resilience
  • Bethany United Methodist Church
  • Pentecost Baptist Church
  • Martinez School
  • Recharge NOLA
  • Dillard University Community Resource Center
  • New Hope Baptist Church
  • Holy Cross Lutheran Church
  • Progressive Baptist Church
  • Renaissance Neighborhood Development Corporation
  • Volunteers of America
  • Tulane and Canal Facilities
  • Healthy Community Services
  • Water Wise 7th Ward
  • Global Green Water Wise Treme
  • Bunny Friends Neighborhood Association

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