On April 2, Dillard University announced that Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, will provide this year’s keynote address at commencement ceremonies on May 11, 2024. Davis has been with Disney Branded Television for over two decades before taking on the role of president in 2021.

In the official announcement, the proud Dillard alumni expressed her appreciation to the university’s community and president, Rochelle L. Ford.

“My journey has been profoundly shaped by my Dillard education and the extraordinary DU community that I’m so proud to be a part of,” Davis said, according to the announcement. “It’s a deep privilege to join the Class of 2024 for this milestone occasion and I extend my heartfelt appreciation to President Ford and everyone at Dillard for this incredible opportunity.”

During her tenure at Disney, Davis played a pivotal part in the success of some of the network’s hit series including The Good Doctor, Desperate Housewives and black-ish. She also had a helping hand in nurturing the careers of award-winning actresses Viola Davis and Eva Longoria.

In 2020, Davis launched ABC Discovers to discover up-and-coming talent; Lupita Nyong’o, Gina Rodriguez and Pedro Pascal are alumni.

Davis currently leads the unit that develops and creates some of the brand’s most viewed content for platforms like Disney+, Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Her team is also responsible for some of Disney’s most successful original series, movies and specials, including Percy Jackson and the Olympians, one of the platform’s top streaming premieres of 2023, and major musical events like the Emmy Award-winning Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium.

Under her direction, Disney Branded Television has earned countless awards and industry accolades: 74 nominations and 14 wins at the 2023 Children’s and Family Emmys Awards; eight nominations and three wins for the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards and a nomination at the 2024 Academy Awards for best short documentary.

Along with serving in various organizations, including Jack and Jill of America Inc., Davis is on the board of trustees of Dillard University.

She has often been acknowledged for her dedication to storytelling and being an authentic leader and mentor.