15th Jun2016

Kennedy Watson – Dillard University ’19

by Staff

“I decided my Senior year of high school that an HBCU would be the best option for me because each HBCU embraces its culture and pushes you to become aware of many important events that are not taught to us in K-12 textbooks/classrooms.”

Kennedy Watson - Dillard University '19

Kennedy Watson of Dillard University, Class of 2019, Business Admin major!| Image Credit: Kennedy Watson

Kennedy Watson

Your HBCU?
Dillard University

Graduation Year?

Where are you from? Who introduced you to HBCUs?

I was born in Englewood,New Jersey—but was raised mostly in Mobile, Alabama. I was introduced to HBCU’s by my parents. They attended Dillard University.

Why did you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

Throughout my childhood I struggled with accepting dark complexion.

Moreover, in my eyes at a young age, everyone had lighter skin than I did. The schools I attended in grade school seemed to only have very few people that looked like me.

I decided my Senior year of high school that an HBCU would be the best option for me because each HBCU embraces its culture and pushes you to become aware of many important events that are not taught to us in K-12 textbooks/classrooms.

I also chose an HBCU because of how strong Dillard’s networking is. I believe it’s important to have access to job shadowing, internships, scholarships, etc.

Major? Why did you choose it?

I am a Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing. I chose this field because in my twenties I will own a funeral home, a coffee shop, and a Women’s Empowerment Organization.

Technically, “I don’t need a college degree to own a funeral home,” but an undergraduate degree is almost required to have. By majoring in Business at Dillard University I will be prepared for the business world and connected with top of line resources.

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

Kennedy Watson of Dillard University, Class of 2019

Kennedy and her DillardU family at an event!|Image Credit: Kennedy Watson

I have experienced the close-knit family feeling, hospitality, and networking that I was looking for in an HBCU.

At Dillard, and many other HBCU’s we have Fried Chicken days (Monday’s). But what stands out about my institution is that we also have the New Orleans tradition of red beans and rice every Monday, and fried fish every Friday.

Like every other university, students get tired of the cafeteria food. But, I can always rely on our President, Dr. Kimbrough (@hiphopprez), to have a lecture where he provides a more upscale selection of food! My experience has been one in a million thus far and has connected me with great people to help guide me on the right path.

As soon as I got to Dillard I decided to join organizations that would be influential to my growth and career: Class Council, Cheerleading, Sister to Sister, Pre Alumni Council, and most recent–SGA. These organizations have kept/keep me focused on my studies because of the grade point average you need to have to be a part of them; so they make me stay focused.

I believe being a part of organizations in college makes the year go by faster, gives you a voice on campus, and more.

“First time” experiences at your HBCU?

My first time experiences were: Having a roommate. Being able to stay out however late I wanted to.

Going on Bourbon Street/Downtown NOLA with friends.

Meeting great people like Michael Eric Dyson, Mara Brock Akil, Dr. Saniko, Terrence J., Migos, August Alsina, Laurence Ross, and more.

Who are the professors that have impacted your life in and out of the classroom? How did they do that?

Many of my professors have impacted my life, but Dr. Watts has impacted me the most. He instructs an African World Studies class and I walked away with vital knowledge of Africa that I was never introduced to.

He taught us that, “We know what we know, and we don’t know what we don’t know, because of the politics of knowledge.” This is one of the most profound statements I have ever heard.

Questions about being a Business Admin major? Attending DillardU? Respectfully ask Kennedy!

Facebook: Kennedy Ayris Watson

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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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