September 8, 2008

Dear Tulane Community,

Now that the Hurricane Gustav challenge has passed and the university has reopened, I want to give thanks to our students and their families for successfully enacting their personal evacuation plans and closely following our announcements.

I also want to express my gratitude to all the faculty and staff who have worked virtually non-stop for the last 10 days preparing the campus for the storm and then dealing with Gustav’s impact so the university could reopen as promised.

In this day and age, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters are a way of life, no matter where you live. In fact, as I send this e-mail we are closely monitoring another storm, Hurricane Ike, and have been regularly posting updates about it on our home page, emergency website and Alert Line. Once again, we will ask you to be calm and attentive for the next few days. By Tuesday we should have some clarity about whether this storm poses a serious threat to New Orleans. If it does, we will take the necessary steps to protect our people and secure our facilities.

As you all certainly know, hurricanes are particularly frustrating to cope with because of the unpredictability of their likely landfall and strength until a few days before they actually do reach land. Hurricane decision-making requires patience and constant monitoring of weather conditions. The only “good” thing about a hurricane compared to other disasters is that you know a week or more in advance that it is on the radar screen.

Regardless of what challenges we face in the future -- whether it is Ike or something else -- it is comforting to be part of a community on campus and throughout the country where the members genuinely care for one another. A crisis usually brings out the best in people, which renews our faith in the human spirit. Hopefully, this spirit will continue to guide us, individually and collectively, to overcome any challenges we will face in the future.

With warm regards and gratitude,


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