November 2, 2001

Good Morning:

I spent the early part of this week in New York City visiting with our Board members, Parents Council members, President's Council members and various alums who live there. It was good to see that, despite all the recent tragedy visited upon it, New York still has the same vibrancy, verve and "can-do" attitude that has made it one of the greatest cities on earth. There is a gritty determination among New Yorkers that I admire. Even though I was raised a red-blooded Dodger fan, I have even decided to root for the Yankees in the World Series. New Yorkers need something to cheer about in these difficult times.

I came home Thursday to attend the dedication of Ben Weiner Hall in the Wilson Athletic Center and for the investiture of Rick Dickson as The Ben Weiner Athletic Director's Chair. Recently, the Weiner Foundation transferred $3.5 million in assets to Tulane for its athletics program. Mr. Weiner, a Tulane alumnus, was president of the Green Wave Club and a Tulane booster throughout his life. We are indebted to Mr. Weiner, who passed away in 1997, for remembering Tulane so generously.

I also learned that Tulane received a major grant from the National Institutes of Health to study cardiovascular disease in kidney patients over a seven-year period. The grant will establish a clinical center in New Orleans that will track about 500 study participants. The New Orleans center will be one of only seven established throughout the country.

The highlight of today will be the retirement party for Pete Gerone, the outgoing director of Tulane's Regional Primate Research Center. Pete has directed the center since 1971. To date I believe this is the fourth retirement party we've hosted for Pete who has been trying to retire since 1998. Thankfully, he agreed to stay on while we conducted the search for a worthy successor. I promise, Pete, this will be the last retirement party. We will miss you.

Once again, please mark November 8 on your calendar for the Presidential Symposium "Bioterrorism: What You Need To Know" that will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the University Center's Kendall Cram Room. This is a great chance for us all to learn the facts about anthrax and other threats from our own faculty experts who have researched these issues for years. This event is open to everyone at Tulane and in the New Orleans community. To learn more about this event visit

I wasn't the only Tulanian in New York this week. Art Brief, who holds the Lawrence Martin Chair of Business at Tulane and coordinates the annual Burkenroad Symposium, was in the Big Apple to accept the "Beyond Grey Pinstripes 2001 Business School Faculty Pioneer Award for Academic Leadership." This prestigious award, given by The Aspen Institute Initiative for Social Innovation through Business and the World Resources Institute, honors Art's commitment to broadening the business school's curriculum to include issues of ethics and social justice. Congratulations, Art.

Finally, the President's Council is meeting today. This advisory group is comprised of approximately 40 friends and alums from across the U.S. The group meets twice a year and advises me and the senior team on a host of important issues. They are invaluable to the university.

Have a good weekend,


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