05th Sep2011

Gerald D. Lee, Junior – Dillard University

by Staff

 “My story at Dillard is one of triumph.”

C/O May 2011

Major: Music Business Management Major




Personal Contacts:



How did you decide to become a student at the Dillard University?

At first, I did not plan on attending any HBCU, or College for that manner. I was set in my ways of working and continuously making money. Then one week in June I received a call from Ms. Riddell Edwards from Dillard University, she explained to me that I had been accepted into the Emerging Scholars Program under the direction of Dr. Kevin Bastian. I immediately accepted and have been a Bleu Devil ever since. (Are you interested in the program? Well reach out and contact Dr. Bastian at kbastian[AT]dillard.edu)


The Illustrious Campus of Dillard University Home to the Bleu Devils


What professors at the Dillard University left the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?


The first professor that comes to mind when thinking of an influence is Professor S. Carver Davenport. He is a Professor of Music and the director of the illustrious Dillard University Concert Choir (DUCC), which I was apart of. Dr. Davenport revealed to me a side of Music I was never aware of. He humbly explained the idea of Ethos, which means that Music has the effect on the emotions. He is a world renown teacher and instructor and I am forever in his debt. (Anyone interested in joining the DUCC, email Dr. Davenport at sdavenport[AT]dillard.edu or call him at (504) 816-4760)


What is the story of your “experience” at Dillard University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious institution?

My story at Dillard is one of triumph. Beginning my freshman year, I knew that I belonged at the top. And that is what I shot for. I was apart of every council thought of. From Sophomore Class Parliamentarian, Junior Class President and Student Government Association Treasurer, I made sure that Dillard knew my name and the face that went with it. Becoming an inaugural member of the Collegiate 100 Black Men of Dillard University was an amazing success in itself. At the time I could not grasp the power that we as black men would soon have on campus, but it was and still is being shown on the Gleaming White and Spacious Green.


Where were the spots to go to if you wanted to cuddle with your boy or girlfriend?

Lol, I would have to say everywhere on campus. Most people did their “cuddling” in Williams Hall. (Williams Hall is the “on-campus co-ed housing residence for first year students. It also houses the Office of Residential Life.”)


What were the best restaurants on and near the campus? Which dishes do you enjoy the most?

Well on campus everyone eats in Kearny Hall for lunch. We would have Red Beans and Rice with Fried Chicken on Mondays and Fried Fish with Mac n Cheese of Fridays. Every week. (“Kearny Hall is is the center of student activities on campus. Administrative offices for Student Affairs, the Student Government Association, the student yearbook, and the Courtbouillon (Dillard’s student newspaper) are housed on the first floor of Kearny. A student lounge and, short order grille and convenience store are also located in Kearny. The dining hall occupies the second floor.”)


You can’t tell us this does NOT look delicious – we hope we have a chance to visit “Kearny” on Monday

Just in case you cant make it to Kearny on Friday, Heather of SoGood.tv (above) will show you how to make the Macaroni and Cheese and if you want the Fried Fish visit Cheryl’s Fried Fish & Soul Food (below)
What were the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

DDDDDDD U! * Clap 4 times* D D D D D D DU! *Clap 4 times* and That’s alright, That’s ok, Shake it off, Shake it off Whoop! Whoop!


Who was your College crush?

Melanie Willoughby. Next question.


How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I was never nervous about going to college. I always adapt well to change.


What was your major? and Why did you choose it?

I was proud to be a Music Business Management Major. I chose this major because music has been apart of my life since I was born. I wanted to make sure I continued the legacy of my family by becoming a successful musician.

What has been your proudest moment @ Dillard University?

My three proudest moments would be joining the Collegiate 100 Black Men of Dillard, joining Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity and Graduation. (We are proud of you family for graduating from such a Powerful and Prideful institution – Much Respect!)


What was your saddest moment @ Dillard University?

My saddest moment at Dillard would be the day that we lost our African World Studies program. Not only us, but soon after, many other HBCU’s lost the same or different programs. How can we prepare our future generations if we can’t educated them on their history? (And you know what is odd is that pwi still have their “african studies programs” – it makes no sense. All it takes is reaching one person and then they become the catalyst to propel that area of study to the next level!)

gerald-d-lee-junior-dillard-university-when-we-ruled-by-robin-walker-african-studies-myhbcuinterviewHow will you know about great books like When We Ruled? by Robin Walker

What did you pledge? And why? And if not, why not?

I am a proud member of the Beta Delta Chapter of Phi Gamma Nu Professional Business Fraternity. I chose to apply for this Fraternity because I saw what it had to offer. I knew that I was lacking in key fields of business such as Networking and Philanthropy. Since joining this organization, I have been molded into the ideal businessman.


How were you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

I was apart of the following Organizations: Dillard University Concert Choir (Video), Dillard U. Male Quartet, Sophomore Class Council, Junior Class President, SGA Treasurer, Collegiate 100 Black Men of Dillard and Phi Gamma Nu Business Fraternity.


Where was the “yard” located?

We don’t have a “yard” in particular. Dillard is a spacious green campus filled with beautiful Oak Trees. No one is allowed on the grass. Ever. The only time walking on the grass is permitted is during Commencement. The students usually hung out around the Oaks or on Kabacoff Quadrangle

Isn’t it Dillard University’s Campus beautiful?


What and where were the historical places on campus?

Every building on Dillard’s campus has historic value to it. From Lawless Chapel to the newly added Leed Gold Certified Professional Schools Building, all of the buildings have a amazing history.

Lawless Chapel on Dillard University’s Campus


The “Leed Gold Certified Professional Schools Building” | Image Courtesy of the UNCF


Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

The students tell stories that ghosts live in Straight Hall, since it is still under construction post Katrina. (“a dormitory at Dillard University. It was built in 1936 and renovated in 1957, Straight Hall was originally a female dormitory in its earliest days. The building is named in honor of Seymour Straight, president of the Board of Trustees of Straight College which opened in 1869 and later in 1930 merged with New Orleans University to form Dillard University.” Wiki)


How many “firsts” did you have at college ? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

Being away from my parents 24/7 was the biggest “first” for me. I won’t tell the rest.


If you could speak to those family members that have risen but that live forever through you, what words would you speak?

If I had the opportunity to speak to past family members, I would ask them about their history. I would not want to speak, but to listen and ultimately to learn.


When and how did you discover your passion in life?

My passion in life is giving back to the community. With my Music Business degree I want to open non-profit music schools around the country, for those children who can not pay $25,000 a year for college. They would be allowed to come to my school and learn. For free. I discovered this passion my Junior year in college when I would mentor every Wednesday to high school students. Seeing them sparked my inspiration to continuously give back.


Whats your take on life (in the philosophical sense)?

My take on life is one that has been molded time and time again. I am a firm believer in living for today. My favorite quote is, “Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is the Present, That’s why they call it a Gift”


If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?

My two sentences have been slimmed down to two words: Believe. Do.

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Graduate of an HBCU and true believer in HBCUs being the best at giving a well-rounded education academically and personally.




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