May 7, 2004
I met with Governor Kathleen Blanco, Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu and members of the State Legislature at our annual Tulane Day at the Legislature this week. Each year a Tulane delegation of faculty and administrators visits the state capitol to keep our elected officials apprised of Tulane's activities and continued importance to the state. Besides touting recent economic figures that revealed Tulane's $1.12 billion impact on the state's economy and our status as Louisiana's fifth largest private employer, I also discussed some of our plans and proposals.
One issue I mentioned to the governor was our planned RiverSphere project and the possibility of convening a conference of the governors from the states bordering or drained by the Mississippi River. The RiverSphere will be a major part of our planned National Center for the Mississippi River, which will be located on the banks of the river and dedicated to its study and celebration. In addition, I thanked the governor and her staff for their support of a number of Tulane projects ranging from the sciences to the humanities and arts.
I also sought the governor's support for the proposed Applied Polymer Technology Extension Consortium. With Tulane, LSU and ULL in the lead, the consortium would provide the state's polymer industry with research and development expertise, workforce training, consulting, networking opportunities and graduates from Louisiana universities. These efforts will ensure that Louisiana, already ranked second in the nation in the production of polymers, reaps the job creation and other benefits of manufacturing the finished products created from polymers, the building blocks of plastic.
With the lieutenant governor, we discussed a proposal to bring the Tulane Shakespeare Festival, via riverboat, to riverside communities throughout the state. I also brought the lieutenant governor up-to-date on our Deep South Regional Humanities Center's effort in supporting, documenting and disseminating the history and culture of our region.
The governor, lieutenant governor and legislators I met all expressed interest in our achievements and proposals. I was grateful to have the opportunity to present Tulane's story to our state leaders. I look forward to many years of continued cooperation between Tulane and our state government.
Have a great weekend,
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