By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent@StacyBrownMedia
After the pomp and circumstance that greeted the official announcement of Dr. Paulette R. Dillard taking the helm at Shaw University, she settled into her office to continue to put in motion her primary objectives for the historically Black college.
“The major objective that we have here at Shaw is to make sure that we create the relevance for Shaw that, in what we do, answers that question that keeps surfacing and that causes every HBCU president to bristle – and that is, ‘Are we still relevant,’” Dillard told NNPA Newswire.
On May 2, Dillard formally received investiture as the liberal arts school’s 18th president.
She received the ceremonial mace, the custom President’s Medallion, and presidential regalia after a “Women Who Lead” Awards Luncheon in Shaw’s historic Estey Hall.
The luncheon honored Dillard, North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynthia Marshall, and McDonald’s owner/operator Deborah Holder.
The celebration culminated with a performance by Dillard’s friend, Grammy Award-winner, Peabo Bryson.
“We want to adapt the university so that it’s clear what its relevance continues to be,” Dillard said. That means that, given the challenges of higher education — and HBCUs in particular — we have to make sure that the education we’re providing transforms the lives of the students that we have,” she said.
“The curriculum most be more robust and we have to