September 13, 2013

Good Morning:

The people I have worked for and with during the last 16 years - the students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends of Tulane University - never cease to amaze me.

When most presidents announce their plans to retire, they are met with good wishes (or riddances) and gestures of kindness. Who else but the wonderful community of Tulane pledges more than 750,000 hours of service as a send-off?

Yet, that is exactly what the most grateful university president in the world received when I was told about the Cowen Service Challenge. Through this program, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university will register their hours of community service in recognition of my desire for the Tulane community to make life better for those less fortunate.

What can I say? I am flattered, humbled, honored and even a little bit embarrassed. But, mostly, I am grateful to be part of a family that speaks not only with words but with deeds, a community committed to building a better world not only here in New Orleans but around the globe, a people who measure success not by what they earn for themselves but by what they gain by giving to others.

You have been the source of so much joy, happiness and fulfillment for me throughout the years. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the legacy of commitment and care that you are now building in my name. The Cowen Service Challenge is the nicest thing anyone could give me.

Have a great weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638