We at Dillard University were grievously disappointed to have been excluded from a story about higher education ('Resiliency U," Sept. 25). Dillard has displayed a standard of resilience in this post-Katrina landscape and has, in fact, offered a comprehensive, four-year, liberal arts education since 1869. Dillard University was also devastated by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The campus in Gentilly was ravaged by 6 to 8 feet of floodwater and lost three of our 29 buildings to fire because high water prevented emergency crews from entering the area. The university suffered more than $400 million in damages and losses.
Dillard also had to cancel its fall 2005 semester, but our administration parlayed that horrific situation into a win-win for our university and the city: We held our spring 2006 semester at the Hilton Riverside Hotel, contributing $100 million to the local economy. We also proudly held our 2006 commencement on campus as 354 graduates marched through the renowned Avenue of the Oaks, as promised by Dr. Marvalene Hughes. Our commencement speaker was the renowned comedian and philanthropist Bill Cosby.
Dillard offers one of the few Japanese Studies programs in the region, our nursing program is a hallmark of the medical community and our Melton Fellows participate in a cultural and educational program with students from Chile, Germany, India and China. Dillard is the only college in the United States to be part of the prestigious exchange sponsored by the Melton Foundation. That's just a few of the educational landmarks that our institution has posted on our journey of excellence.
Our students and graduates have made their mark in every possible area, including medicine, law, business and music. Some of our graduates include the Hon. Revius Ortique, retired justice, Louisiana Supreme Court; and Ellis Marsalis and Harold Battiste, both musicians and music educators; Dr. Joyce Roché, CEO of Girls Inc.; Glenda Goodly McNeal, vice president of American Express Corp.; Dr. Warren Jones, executive director, Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic Minority Health; Dr. Karen Drake, perinatologist, Iowa Methodist Medical Center; Dr. Dwayne Thomas, Interim CEO, Medical Center of Louisiana; and many others.
Dillard University is here. We are thriving and we are educating future leaders for the city, the state, the nation and the world. Don't ignore our valuable contribution to the educational scheme of this area or rank us as less than major.
Senior Director, University Communications & Marketing
The Debate Continues
Ed Haslam's response ('Author Responds," Letters to the Editor, Aug. 14) to my letter ('Mistreatment," July 31), which revealed numerous false statements in his book, Dr. Mary's Monkey, retaliates by stating that I don't know what I am talking about because I 'did not even know that Mary Sherman worked at Tulane." He refers to the obituary that proves I am correct. Mary Sherman held an academic title at Tulane, as did many of the Ochsner Clinic staff. The academic title was given so she might attend conferences and teach her expertise. She had no office or laboratory at Tulane, and was not paid by Tulane. In contrast, her office and laboratory were at the Ochsner Clinic, and her salary was paid by the Ochsner Clinic. I have held an academic appointment at Tulane for 45 years; however, I work at the Ochsner Clinic, as did Mary Sherman.
John Ochsner, MD
Here in the United States, we are innocent until proven guilty (or so I've been taught), so when a person is put into a holding cell, no matter how benign or terrible the charges against him may be, he still deserves gentle and humane treatment. What happened to Oscar Fuselier ('Traffic Fatality," News & Views, Sept. 18) is indeed 'a fact of life," as Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman says, but it violates the very ideals of American life that this is so. People are beaten and killed in prisons and holding cells every day in America. I know this to be the sad truth. Even if Fuselier were a hardened, violent offender, he should not have been abused. This makes our justice system as violent and cruel as the criminals it purports to reform. Psychology 101: When people are treated violently, they become more violent. It is our criminal justice system that is criminal and badly in need of reform.