New Orleans, LA – Two-time Academy Award® and Tony Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is among four recipients to receive honorary doctorates during Dillard University’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 9, on the Rosa Freeman Keller Avenue of the Oaks on Dillard’s campus.

Others who will receive Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters include Dr. Victoria H. Barbosa, David J. Dennis Sr. who graduated from Dillard in 1968 and Alden J. McDonald Jr., president of Liberty Bank.

Photo, Dillard University

Dr. Victoria H. Barbosa is recognized in the top 1% of dermatologists nationwide by US News and World Report. She is a board certified dermatologist who manages diseases of the hair, skin and nails in people of all ethnicities. She has been honored repeatedly as a Top Doctor, both by Chicago Magazine and by US News and World Report. 

Barbosa earned her medical degree from Yale University. In addition, she holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She earned a Bachelor of Biology from Harvard. She has served on Dillard’s Board of Trustees for the past 12 years and holds the position of Chair of the Education Committee.

David J. Dennis Sr., ’68, interrupted his collegiate experience during his freshman year in 1961 at Dillard University in NewOrleans, La. to work in the civil rights movement in the South during the 1960s. During that era, he was arrested over 30 times in relation to his activities to register disenfranchised voters in Mississippi and Louisiana. He was on the first freedom bus ridefrom Montgomery, Ala. to Jackson, Miss. in 1961. He served in both states as field secretary for the Congress on RacialEquality (CORE) as well as co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and helped organize Freedom Summer 1964. He worked closely with Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney who were murdered along with Andrew Goodman as Freedom Summer began. Dennis is a 1968 graduate of Dillard University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan.

Alden J. McDonald Jr. is President and CEO of Liberty Bank and Trust Company, one of the top African-American owned financial institutions in the United States. McDonald oversees an expanding network of financial institutions serving urban communities and providing leadership in community development to a diverse customer base throughout America. He is recognized as a passionate advocate and dynamic catalyst in providing avenues for economic growth, home ownership, wealth-building and leadership development in the African-American community. McDonald has gained a national reputation as a creative, insightful, yet practical problem solver who has developed mortgage and banking products that enhance the opportunities for the financially underserved, as well as, upwardly mobile populations of America’s cities.

Liberty is one of the first and now the only African-American owned commercial bank in Louisiana. It operates financial institutions in eight (8) states and nine (9) major urban areas. McDonald is a graduate of the LSU School of Banking andColumbia University’s Commercial Banking Management Program.

Dillard alumna Joyce M. Roche’ will receive the Presidential Medal of Honor. Roche’, retired president & CEO of Girls, Incorporated, has been a trailblazer in the corporate world for 25 years.  She has mentored women by encouraging them to find their voices and take bold career risks to excel.  Her vision for empowered businesswomen carried over into her work on behalf of girls when in 2000, she assumed the role of President and CEO of Girls Inc., the nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Before joining Girls Inc., Roché served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Carson Products Company, and Vice President of Global Marketing at Avon Products, Inc.  During her tenure at Carson, an African American personal care company, sales increased over 130 percent.  While at Avon, Roché broke new ground, becoming Avon’s first African American female vice president, the first African American vice president of marketing, and the company’s first vice president of global marketing. Roché has received widespread acclaim for her achievements in the business world:  In 1998, Business Week selected her as one of the “Top Managers to Watch,” and in 1997 she was featured on the cover of Fortune.  In 1991 and 1994 respectively, Black Enterprise named Roché one of the “21 Women of Power and Influence in Corporate America” and one of the “40 Most Powerful Black Executives.”

Roche’ is a 1970 graduate of Dillard and has served her alma mater as a member of the Board of Trustees since 1993. She has served in a number of capacities including Chair of the Board. She received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University in 1991.