West Bank tree project honors supporters _lowres

Photo provided by Ann Kallauner-Ainsley Pratt

  • DILLARD THEATER: Dillard Theater will open its 80th season with “Eartha Kitt: Unauthorized Confessions” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11 and 12, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, in the Cook Theatre at Dillard University, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans. The shows will continue the weekend of Sept. 18-20. The one-woman play is written and performed by Dillard alum Tyra Hughes, Class of 2001, who has performed the play in Los Angeles and New York. Hughes, a New Orleans native, put off an acting career to raise a family and earned her degree in theater arts and speech communications while working full time with the U.S. Postal Service. For information or to purchase tickets, call the Dillard box office at (504) 816-4857. Other Dillard Theater productions this school year will be:
  • A Trilogy of Shine’s Plays, Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 30-Nov. 1
  • Black history production, Feb. 18-20 and Feb. 25-27
  • “The Gospel at Colonus,” April 8-10 and April 15-17
  • Goat in the Road and Dillard Theater present “PLAY/WRITE,” May 8-9
  • NICHOLLS STATE UNIVERSITY: Ainsley Pratt, of Covington, is attending Nicholls State University on a soccer scholarship. Pratt grew up in New Orleans and attended Holy Name of Jesus School. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Florida, where she lived after Hurricane Katrina.
  • While playing for Lincoln, Pratt scored 15 goals and had four assists. She scored 38 goals in her prep career and dished out 13 assists for 89 career points, scoring no fewer than seven goals in any season. Along with playing for LHS, Pratt was a big contributor to the Bay United Soccer Club. “Ainsley is a true defensive mid that can play from box to box,” Nicholls head coach Dylan Harrison said on GeauxColonels.com. “Her understanding of the game allows her to be confident enough to help lead and organize her teammates. As a player who is familiar with New Orleans and still has family in Louisiana, we are happy we are able to get her back.”
  • DILLARD SUPPORT SERVICES: Dillard University has received a five-year grant totaling $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education to provide tutoring, counseling and other support services to ensure students earn a college degree. The grant was competitively awarded through the Department of Education’s Student Support Services initiative, which is designed to increase retention and graduation rates among students from low-income backgrounds who are working to become first-generation college graduates. According to Kevin Bastian, assistant vice president for support services and the grant’s principal investigator, Dillard’s program is designed to provide comprehensive support services for up to 200 students a year. “Some students, while they have the drive to do well academically, are faced with a number of challenges, academically and socially. These challenges often impede, or even derail, their path to a college degree,” Bastian said. Dillard will implement the grant alongside other university-run support projects within its Division of Student Success, including Keys to Success, which provides academic support for student-parents. For information, call Dillard’s Division of Student Success at (504) 816-4714.