January 4, 2002

Good Morning:

I hope all of you had a pleasant and relaxing holiday break. You may recall in one of my last Tulane Talks of 2001 I promised to tell you about an overseas trip that I had planned 10 years ago and was finally taking.

The trip began with a promise I made to Marjorie in 1991 at the time of a BIG birthday for her. She expressed a strong desire to visit Paris because she had never been there before. I promised to take her but other events intervened and we made a trip to Israel instead. Israel is great, but it is not Paris! So I promised her again that in the second week of December, 2001 (BIG birthday plus 10 years) I would take her to Paris.

In all honesty, I had forgotten the promise until my dear wife reminded me of it last June. Being a man of my word, we went to Paris and had a wonderful time! We spent most of our time in museums and walking. Despite the cold weather, it was a magical trip in every way. Although it seems pretty quiet now with most of our students gone, there is still plenty of activity going on around campus. I spent most of this week in internal meetings getting caught up with the academic deans and senior officers. It was also a good time to do some writing and catch up with thank-you notes from the holidays.

This is also a busy time for our Institutional Advancement Office as they process the surge of end of the year donations that come in during this time. In planning for the new year it will be vital to see how the economic downturn affected this year's fund raising efforts. I also had an opportunity this week to meet with mayoral candidate and Tulane alumnus Ray Nagin. I was interested to hear Ray's thoughts on the future of our city. New Orleans has a rich past and great potential but significant and innovative changes are needed.

Let's just hope the next mayor has the courage, fortitude and energy to keep the city moving forward. Well, as nice as the holidays are, it will be good to have everyone back. Next week our full work weeks will return along with our students. I'm looking forward to many great things for Tulane in 2002!

Have a good weekend,


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