(September 4, 2012)

Dillard students depart from Centenary to return home

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dillard University students left Centenary College to return to their campus this weekend following Hurricane Isaac. Centenary hosted 150 Dillard students and staff for six days as the storm swept across the gulf coast. Both Centenary and Dillard students used the six days to foster fellowship and fun between the sister institutions.

Dillard and Centenary students
Dillard and Centenary students during My Sister Institution event

The students met on multiple nights for diversity-themed socials. The most well-attended event, My Sister Institution, featured an examination of the connection between Dillard and Centenary and more personal explorations such as "Who are we and what do we value?" Students rotated among different tables and groups answering questions focused on self, institution, and community.

"Events like these are all about building community," said Chris Cameron, Dillard's Executive Director of Residential Life and Student Union. "There are no right or wrong answers, no judgment, and we create an environment in which everyone feels safe to share opinions openly."

Centenary senior Jamie Dyche went to the My Sister Institution event to support Centenary and Dillard while meeting new friends:

"I was unable to greet the Dillard students when they arrived early Tuesday morning, but I definitely wanted to meet them. I wanted to get to know who they are and let them know that we value them."

Gary Claxton, a Dillard junior, attended the event for much the same reasons as Dyche:

"I wanted to show support for my University, reach out to Centenary, and get to know everyone here as well. I have learned that Centenary and Dillard have many, many things in common—we are both very family-oriented."

Dillard students also received visits from Miss Louisiana Lauren Vizza and Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover during their stay at Centenary. On the night of Vizza's visit, Dillard students were provided a special dinner from Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers.

Dillard University regained power on August 30, and after campus-wide cleanup efforts, the University resumed classes and business operations on Tuesday, September 4.

During Hurricane Katrina, approximately 230 Dillard students along with some faculty and staff stayed in the Centenary Fitness Center and Gold Dome before being picked up by family members or provided transportation home. More recently, Centenary hosted contingents from Dillard for brief periods during Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2008.