May 9, 2003

Good Morning:

I know commencement time has arrived because the weather is warmer, our campus grounds are getting a face-lift, there is a palpable sense of excitement in the air and a noticeable cramp in my right hand. The origin of this last telltale sign is the result of my signing the 2,390 diplomas that will be given to our graduates.

Some of my staff have advised me that signing the diplomas by hand is a bit of a waste of time since there are mechanized methods of accomplishing this. But ever since my days as a dean, I got into the habit of personally signing each diploma. It seems like a nice send-off and, in a small way, enables me to stay forever linked to our graduates. Besides, once you get in the rhythm, it can also offer some therapeutic, Zen-like serenity.

My hand will, no doubt, be back in shape for all the shaking that will be required of it at our commencement on May 17 at 9:30 a.m. in the Superdome. I hope as many of you as possible will attend this university-wide event, which is the high point of our academic year. All commencement events and details can be found at

I also hope as many of you as possible will attend one of the two public forums we have scheduled to discuss the athletics review currently underway by an ad hoc committee of the Board of Tulane. The first forum will be held today from noon to 2 p.m. in the Dixon Annex Recital Hall. The second forum will take place Monday, May 12 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Dixon Annex Recital Hall. I hope to see you at the forums and commencement.

Have a great weekend,


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