Drew Brees, jazz greats, philanthropists are Tulane Commencement honorees

April 4, 2014

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-314-2603

Saints quarterback Drew Brees and jazz clarinetist Dr. Michael White will receive the President’s Medal, while honorary degrees will be given to Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian, World Bicycle Relief founder F. K. Day and musician Wynton Marsalis at Tulane University’s 2014 Commencement, 9 a.m., May 17, in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Brees, who led the Saints to their first Super Bowl victory, is co-founder of the Brees Dream Foundation, which has committed more than $20 million to charitable causes and academic institutions in New Orleans, San Diego and West Lafayette, Ind. Brees will receive the President’s Medal, given annually to an individual for contributing to the well-being of Tulane or New Orleans.

White, who will also receive a President’s Medal, is an acclaimed jazz clarinetist, bandleader, composer, jazz historian and musical educator. A Tulane alumnus, he has appeared on more than three dozen recordings, including 11 of his own. White has made outstanding contributions to the study and preservation of traditional New Orleans jazz, ensuring that this original American art form continues to thrive.

Day, co-founder of one of the world’s largest makers of bicycle components, established World Bicycle Relief, which has provided educational programming, micro-financing, job training and more than 150,000 bicycles in developing countries throughout the world. Day will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Gregorian is president of the Carnegie Corporation, which contributed more than $18 million to universities and social services organizations in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Gregorian will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Marsalis, one of the world’s most accomplished musicians, organized the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Concert and raised over $3 million for musicians and cultural organizations impacted by the hurricane. He was also a leader in the post-Katrina Bring Back New Orleans Cultural Commission. Marsalis, who will also deliver Commencement 2014’s keynote address, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.




Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000