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Zeta Phi Beta’s Dr. Rochelle L. Ford Named New President of Dillard University

The Dillard University Board of Trustees recently announced that Dr. Rochelle L. Ford will become the university’s eighth president on July 1, 2022. Dr. Ford a 1991 initiate of the Alpha Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and is currently the dean of Elon University’s School of Communications.

“Dr. Ford is a dynamic, charismatic and visionary leader,” said Michael D. Jones, Esq., chair of Dillard’s Board of Trustees. “Students, faculty, and trustees were blown away by her insight, passion and drive. As impressive as Dillard has been over the past 150 years in producing history makers and change agents, there is no question that, under Dr. Ford’s leadership, the best is yet to come.”

Dr. Ford brings a wealth of experience in higher education administration and instruction to her new role, with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, public relations, advertising, journalism, and media. She has a proven track record of increasing student enrollment and has made strategic investments in technological infrastructure at Elon University. Prior to her tenure at Elon, Dr. Ford served as a provost faculty fellow at Syracuse University, and as the associate dean of research and academic affairs in Howard University’s School of Communications.

“I feel very blessed and honored to be selected to service Dillard University, which is a national treasure committed to producing leaders who live ethically,” said Ford. “Dillard’s alumni think precisely and act courageously to make the world a better place. I aim to continue that legacy and ensure the sustainability of Dillard for generations to come.”

Dr. Ford, who is originally from Gahanna, Ohio, earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a specialization in public relations from Howard University, her master’s degree in journalism with a specialization in public relations from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Ph.D. in journalism from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She also earned a graduate certificate in higher education administration from Harvard University.

Zeta Phi Beta’s International Headquarters took to social media to celebrate their soror upon the announcement.

Dillard University is a historically Black university that is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. Dr. Ford will be the second woman to serve as Dillard’s president in a permanent capacity, following Drs. Bettye Parker Smith and Marvalene Hughes.

We at Watch The Yard would like to congratulate Dr. Rochelle L. Ford on her next big move as the 8th President of Dillard University.

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