October 5, 2007

Good Morning:

I am writing from New York, where I traveled this week with Audubon Nature Institute CEO Ron Forman, renowned clarinetist and Xavier professor Michael White and the founder of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, Ruthie Frierson. The purpose of our trip was to meet with the editors of The Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine, as well as leaders in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office and the top leadership of the Rockefeller and Wallace foundations. I also appeared on Bloomberg TV's "Money and Politics" program.

This trip was the latest leg of the Fleur-de-lis Ambassadors program (, an effort to provide an accurate and balanced picture of New Orleans' recovery to the national media and underscore the importance of New Orleans to the country as a whole. Our meetings were productive, cordial and direct. As on previous trips we faced pointed questions and strong points-of-view. We addressed each question as accurately as we could, neither downplaying our challenges nor overstating our progress.

We also learned this week that Tulane will be the site of the first meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative-U, a program created by the former president and MTV to engage college students in solving some of the world's most pressing problems. The event will be held early next year at Tulane. We don't have any more details at this point regarding participants in the Tulane event but the announcement was made at a star-studded event featuring former President Bill Clinton, MTV President Christina Norman, Bono, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Shakira and more. I will be sure to keep you informed about this exciting development.

The Clinton Global Initiative-U is all about the hope young people can inspire. Tomorrow, I will encounter some inspiring young people myself when I attend the Tulane-Army game. The grit and determination with which our Green Wave players competed against a highly favored opponent last week attracted national attention and admiration. I believe their effort is an example of what attracts us so much to sports.  Of course, the West Point student-athletes also represent and stand for everything we desire in young people.

So beyond mere entertainment, this game showcases true student-athletes and two universities that are in service to society; each in its own way.  There will be a lot to cheer for, besides what may be occurring on the football field.

Have a great weekend,


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