Today Miriam Ortique was laid to rest. 97 years old! Anyone familiar with Dillard knows the name Ortique, as her husband was Justice Revius Ortique, the first African American on the Louisiana Supreme Court and Dillard University alumnus.

After Hurricane Katrina, the Ortique family made a gift to Dillard to create the mock trial center and pre-law program. The mock trial center has a prominent location off the atrium in the professional schools building. Part of the plan was also to begin the Ortique Lecture on Law and Society. When the mock trial room was dedicated, the Ortique lecturer was Attorney General Eric Holder.

We stepped up this lecture series when I arrived in 2012, attempting to bring the biggest names in law and society to Dillard and New Orleans. My first speaker was Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow.” Since then guests have included Ben Crump, Sunny Hostin, James Foreman Jr., Angela Rye, Michael Jones and Bryan Stevenson. We will soon announce the 2021 speaker.

Mrs. Ortique was a great supporter of Dillard University. The Ortique mock trial center and annual lecture are a great way to honor their legacy. Our pre-law program has brought great national attention to the university and the legacy of the Ortiques as well. We must continue to build this program.

To learn more about Mrs. Ortique you can read her obituary here:

The Prez

7th president of Dillard University