Dillard University Executive Vice President Walter Strong retires in February on the heels of the completion of the $70 million Advantage Dillard! capital campaign. Strong planned and directed the campaign, which exceeded its goal in private gifts at a cost of less than six cents per dollar raised.
Strong joined Dillard University in the summer of 2005, just weeks before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and Dillard’s campus. Strong provided senior leadership in securing $420 million in public grants and private gifts to hasten the school’s recovery. Those resources helped Dillard renovate its campus and build the Professional Schools and Sciences Building and the Student Union and Health & Wellness Center. In addition to amenities such as a bowling alley, movie theater, and fitness center, about 12,000 square feet have been allocated for a community health center that will benefit Gentilly residents as well as the campus community.
“We are grateful for the work that Dr. Strong has done in restoring the university and providing leadership during the time of its greatest challenges,” said Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University. “Because of his work we can move forward and focus on future goals that Dillard is uniquely positioned to pursue.”
Strong co-chaired Dillard’s strategic planning committee, which developed strategic goals that have guided the university since 2008. He also reinvigorated Dillard’s community development initiatives by fostering formal collaborations with neighborhood associations in the Gentilly community.
Marc Barnes, who recently served as director of development for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc., will succeed Strong and carry the new title of vice president for institutional advancement beginning Feb. 18.