Jamaican Native Chevel Powell ’19 Named Dillard University Co-Valedictorian

NEW ORLEANS – Chevel Powell ‘19 has been named a co-valedictorian for the Dillard University class of 2019.

Powell, along with three other valedictorians will lead their class, compromised of 250 students, during the University’s 83rd Commencement on Saturday, May 11, 2019, at 8 a.m. on the Rosa Freeman Keller Avenue of Oaks in the Gentilly campus.

Powell, a Jamaican native and Political Science Major, earned a 4.0-grade point average during her undergraduate career. While at Dillard, Powell wrote for the University’s annual magazine Dillard Today and the digital business site Walker’s Legacy.

Jamaican Native Chevel Powell '19 Named Dillard University Co-Valedictorian
Chevel Powell

When she wasn’t writing, Powell worked as an Upward Bound tutor and resident assistant for the University’s Residence Life department. Powell was also as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Scholar for the White House Initiative.

The program was designed to honor students who improve standards of living in their communities. In the fall, Powell will enroll in Washington University School of Law, located in St. Louis, Missouri to earn her Juris Doctorate degree. Washington University provided Powell with a full scholarship to complete her education.

“As an international student, Chevel was ineligible for financial aid, so she knew that she needed excellent grades to maintain the scholarships she had acquired to attend Dillard University.  Chevel was keenly aware that she would need a full scholarship in order to attend law school after graduation,” Adria Kimbrough, ESQ, Dillard’s Pre-Law Advisor said. “In pursuit of the goal, Chevel’s focus, work ethic, and tenacity were relenting and unmatched. Not only did Chevel achieve her academic goals, she also stepped outside of her comfort zone by joining the award winning Dillard Mock Trial Team and confronting her fear of public speaking. She’s made history by advancing to the Opening Round Championship with the Dillard Mock Trial Team. She is truly an exemplar for all of our students.”

Dr. Steve Buddington, Assistant Dean of College of Arts & Sciences and Professor of Social Work shared similar sentiments.“Chevel Powell, who hails from Jamaica, West Indies, is a scholar of pure wisdom—more significant than the connotations of intelligence,” he said. “[She] achieved and fortified with unrelenting diligence, perseverance, persistence, guided by the community, familial support, and ultimately by Jah Blessings,” Dr. Buddington concluded.

Actress and Producer Regina Hall will be Dillard University’s 2019 Commencement Speaker. Hall is the first African-American woman to win the New York Film Critics Circle choice for Best Actress. Dillard is known for bringing in leading influencers throughout the world to be Commencement speakers or to participate in the President’s Lecture Series Brain Food.

The University considers itself a place that not only educates some of the country’s top scholars and leaders, but a place where the community can come and learn.

Raised in Westmoreland Parish, Powell is an alumna of the Mannings School. She graduated in 2015 with an Associate’s Degree before emigrating to the United States.

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