Memorable Moments of 2022: #2 The 7ths Last Words: Mock Trial

Walter M. Kimbrough
5 min readDec 31, 2022

June 30th was my last day as president of Dillard University. The year started like my first, with a major hurricane. In 2012 it was Isaac; in 2021 his sister Ida caused havoc. So fall 2021 was a wash, especially since we had no power in the entire city for a week or more depending on where you lived.

Spring semester was more normal. I had a great Ethics in Hip Hop class with some awesome guests like Sa-Roc the MC, Cheo Hodari Coker who produced the film “Notorious,” the legendary J. Prince of Rap-A-Lot Records, and Wise Intelligent of Poor Righteous Teachers.

Led by 2X GCAC track coach of the year, we received our first invites to the Penn Relays.

My team planned a gala so that we could raise funds for the SAFE fund, which has been able to assist hundreds of students since we began it in 2013.

And I completed a Barnes family sweep- beating Marc’s team in softball after winning the Bleu and White game against Kiki in the fall.

But 2022 belonged to the Dillard Mock Trial team. As I have said repeatedly, this is an activity which allows our students to compete against all types of schools. It is a way to validate our assertions that our students can compete against anyone.

If you look at the results from the competition which sent us to our first ever National Championship, you can see what I mean. Having a better record that all of these schools means something. And the students knew it. We had two viral videos during the year, after advancing from the regional to the opening round championships, and then advancing to the national championships. If you need a feel-good moment, here are two:

Not only did they make history, but this footage is possible because the team was followed all year by a documentary podcast called “Class Action.” The team was featured in 3 episodes, and then follow up episodes included two of the team members who are in the first year of law school, and the coach.

You can hear the episodes below. They are very interesting:

I wrote about the team in March and shared all the press they received. You can find it here:

There were additional stories since April 1st. Here are some of those:

Although the team didn’t place at the nationals, they jumped back into the national rankings. Roughly 270 teams are ranked, and the Dillard team is now ranked 80th, the highest ranking ever. And they have kept it going, as coach Judge Kern Reese posted on Instagram the team at the end of 2022 placing second at the Cornell University invitational.

More than any other Dillard person or organization, the mock trial team dominated 2022 like none other.

Walter

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Walter M. Kimbrough

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