Dillard People of 2020: #6 Big Timers You Might Not Know (Until Now)

Walter M. Kimbrough
3 min readDec 27, 2020


Like all colleges and universities, Dillard has its fair share of notable alumni. We all love to take credit for their accomplishments, and while we play a role, most bring something with them to our institutions that hopefully build on.

Dillard has more than its fair share of notable alumni, many of them household names. These include Garrett Morris, the first Black cast member on Saturday Night Live and also known for The Jamie Foxx Show and Martin. Dr. Ruth Simmons, the first Black president of an Ivy League university and the only person to serve as president of an Ivy League university, an all women’s college, and an HBCU. The late Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the world famous Marsalis jazz family.

But in 2020 Dillard alumni had a number of significant achievements. A Pulitzer Prize. A college president. A Disney executive vice president. First Black Federal Elections commissioner. A new generation of alumni are making their mark. Here are a few of them that are notable for 2020.

Jericho Brown ‘98, Pulitzer Prize Winner

Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes ’88, York College CUNY

Ayo Davis ‘98, Disney

Keith Woods ‘80, NPR

Shana Broussard ‘91, Federal Election Commission

Nicole Tinson ’14, HBCU 20X20

Aisha McClendon, VoteAmerica

Dr. Ashanti Jones ‘03, University of Louisiana Monroe

Brandis Friedman ‘00, Chicago Tonight

Cassandra McKinney ‘82, Comerica Bank

DJ Raj Smoove (Roger Dickerson II) ’98

Atty. Farai Alves ‘98, Bradford and Barthel

Dr. Kelly Nash ‘00, University of Texas at San Antonio

Alvin Harris ’18 and Ron Davalos ’19, Vaku

Most of the alums highlighted here have graduated in the past twenty-five years, hopefully inspiring current students to focus on perfecting their crafts as these alumni have.

The Prez



Walter M. Kimbrough

12th president of Philander Smith College. 7th president of Dillard University. Now in an Intermission.