March 5, 2004

Good Morning:

The warm weather this week reminded me of something that I am sure has been in the forefront of the minds of many of our students: Commencement 2004 is just around the corner!

On May 22 at 9:30 a.m. in the Louisiana Superdome approximately 2,000 Tulane University students will graduate. Our commencement speaker for this year is Senator John Breaux, a leader in national politics who has served Louisiana for 32 years beginning with his election to the House of Representatives in 1972.

Senator Breaux was only 28 at the time of the election, that's not much older than most of our graduates and a good deal younger than many. He served for 14 years in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 1986. In 1998, he was re-elected to a third term in the U.S. Senate, from which he plans to retire when his term ends later this year.

A senior member of the Finance Committee, Senator Breaux serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Social Security and Family Policy and is a member of the Health Care and Taxation and IRS Oversight subcommittees. He was instrumental in passage of the welfare reform and health insurance reform bills in 1996 and he continues to play a pivotal role in the national effort to improve and preserve the Medicare program. He is also a leader in the efforts to reduce the capital gains tax and has proposed significant tax relief for college education expenses.

Besides showing that one can make a difference at any age, I think Senator Breaux is an excellent choice for commencement speaker because of the way he conducted himself in his leadership role. In a highly polarized arena Senator Breaux, as the leader of the Centrist Coalition of Senate Democrats and Republicans, sought consensus and cooperation, earning praise from conservatives, liberals and moderates alike.

I hope you will attend Commencement 2004 to honor the achievements of our graduates and benefit from the wit and wisdom of Senator Breaux. For a full listing of Commencement 2004 events please visit

Have a great weekend,


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