As we prepare for our commencement next week, with our great guest Janelle Monae, I am reminded of all the great visitors we host EVERY year at Dillard University. While what takes place in the classroom is important, out of class learning experiences can be just as important for overall student learning. Years ago when Bill Maxwell of the St. Petersburg Times spoke for our faculty-staff institute at Philander Smith College, he really emphasized the need for HBCU students, especially those who might not have the same exposure as other students, to be exposed to a range of ideas and people to provide texture for their learning.

So meet some of our guests that provided texture this academic year.

Lee Mazin & Audra the Rapper, Hip Hop artists (VH1’s “Sisterhood of Hip Hop”)
Brandan “BMike” Odums
Therese Badon, UNCF Vice President
Chef Kevin Mitchell, Culinary Institute of Charleston (SC)
Chef Pierre Thiam (left), King of New African Cuisine
Dr. Christopher Emdin, Columbia University; author “For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood”
Dr. Dawn-Elissa Fischer, San Francisco State University
Derrick Edwards, New Orleans attorney
Dr. LaKisha Simmons, University of Michigan; author “Crescent City Girls”
Melanie Campbell, Black Women’s Roundtable
Ann Duplessis, Liberty Bank
Demetria McKinney, actress & singer
Stevie Baggs, Jr., speaker & former NFL player
Father Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina (Chicago)
Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins, musician & author
Bishop Lamont, Hip Hop artist
Lynn Richardson, President, Hip Hop Sisters Foundation
MC Lyte
Michel’le, recording artist
Rich Lowry, editor, The National Review
Roland Martin, journalist
Shanti Das, The Hip Hop Professional
Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, higher education scholar
Dr. Tim Renick, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Georgia State University
Toya Wright, entrepreneur and author, “In My Own Words”
Atty Chris Stewart, Alton Sterling family attorney
State Senator Wesley Bishop
Sybrina Fulton & Tracy Martin, authors, “Rest In Power”

Stay tuned for guests that will visit during the 2017–18 academic year. As always, we love to have the community come visit and participate.

The Prez