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Michelle Obama to address Dillard graduates

22nd April 2014   ·   0 Comments

First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the address at Dillard University on Saturday, May 10, when 243 students of Dillard University’s Class of 2014 walk down the Avenue of the Oaks during the commencement ceremony at 10:00 a.m..

A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met the man who would become her husband and soulmate.

Obama

Obama

After a few years, Mrs. Obama decided her true calling was working with people to serve their communities and their neighbors. She served as assistant commissioner of planning and development in Chicago’s City Hall before becoming the founding executive director of the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program that prepares youth for public service.

In 1996, Mrs. Obama joined the University of Chicago with a vision of bringing campus and community together. As Associate Dean of Student Services, she developed the university’s first community service program, and under her leadership as Vice President of Community and External Affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center, volunteerism skyrocketed.

Promoting service and working with young people has remained a staple of her career and her interest. Continuing this effort now as First Lady, Mrs. Obama in 2010 launched Let’s Move!, a campaign to bring together community leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses, moms and dads in a nationwide effort to tackle the challenge of childhood obesity. Let’s Move! has an ambitious but important goal: to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.

As First Lady, Mrs. Obama continues to work on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, promoting the arts and arts education, and fostering healthy eating and healthy living for children and families across the country.

The President and First Lady have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

Dillard will host its baccalaureate service on the Avenue of the Oaks on Friday, May 9, at 6:00 p.m. The Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant, pastor of the Empower­ment Temple in Baltimore, will give the baccalaureate address.

A native of Baltimore, MD, Bryant is a third-generation minister who pastors the fastest-growing congregation in the history of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church with a membership of 12,000. Bryant is an energetic, new-age minister with a commanding presence that appeals to young adults both in his hometown and abroad in Liberia, West Africa. He has an audience of more than 8,000 people who view his online services worldwide with 150,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. Bryant earned a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College; a master’s of divinity at Duke Univ­ersity; and a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Found­ation. He also studied at the University of Oxford in England. Bryant is the author of four books, most notably, World War Me, for which he won the African American Publishers Award.

Dillard’s Alumni Reunion 2014 begins on Thursday, May 8, and runs through Sunday, May 11. It will spotlight class years ending in four and nine, with a special nod to the Golden Class of 1964 and the Silver Class of 1989. Highlights include an Alumni Artists and Authors Showcase, a Reunion Banquet and Dance, and a Southern Style Cookout.

Legendary jazz singer Germaine Bazzle will be the featured guest artist in the Dillard Theater’s production of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” at 7:30 p.m. on May 8 in the Georges Auditorium on Dillard’s campus. This timeless musical is Dillard University’s 2014 Pre-Commencement Scholarship Benefit. All proceeds will go toward student scholarships.

“Ain’t Misbehavin’” is a musical revue based on a book by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby Jr. with music by various composers and lyricists. It is named after the 1929 song by Fats Waller (with Harry Brooks and Andy Razaf), “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The musical is a tribute to the Black musicians of the 1920s and ‘30s who were part of the Harlem Renaissance, an era of growing creativity, cultural awareness and ethnic pride. Troy R. Poplus directs the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’” featuring Germaine Bazzle.

Tickets for the performance are $45. To purchase tickets, go to Dillard.edu or for more information call (504) 816-4696.

This article originally published in the April 21, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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