Ronald E. McNair

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Dillard University is among a number of institutions that recently received the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The $1.3 million award is part of a five-year grant designed to provide support services and to encourage eligible undergraduate students to pursue graduate education leading to doctoral degrees, according to the University.

The grant coincides with Dillard’s mission as well as other efforts to increase the number of Dillard graduates entering graduate studies. The grant, which will be directed by Tracie Thomas, pre-health advisor, will function as a program within the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and will report directly to the interim associate provost, Eric Buckles. The program went into effect October 1 and will run through September 2027.

According to Theodore Callier, interim president of institutional advancement, Dillard’s application was highly competitive and one of the few relatively new programs awarded in this year’s competition.

“I am beyond grateful that Dillard was awarded the TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant. We will be able to continue to equip our students as research scholars with the necessary resources to excel in graduate school and beyond,” said Thomas.

Program staff will provide graduate school planning and awareness activities, access to research and scholarly activity, specialized advising, mentoring and other wrap-around services to better prepare and equip students to success in graduate school.

After earning a Ph.D. in physics, Ronald E. McNair was selected out of 10,000 applications to train NASA. McNair would later become the second African American to go into space in 1984. The $60 million Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is one of the Department of Education’s federally funded TRIO programs.

About Dillard University
Dillard University is a historically Black institution that cultivates leaders who live ethically, think and communicate precisely, and act courageously to make the world a better place. Located in New Orleans, Dillard is a private faith-based liberal arts university that offers 22 majors and two certificate programs. Ranked 5th on 2021 The New York Times Overall Mobility Index and 14th in 2022 by Academic Influence for Best Colleges and Universities by Academic Stewardship, Dillard’s call to future leaders is to Write Your Legacy. Learn more about Louisiana’s oldest HBCU by visiting