November 11, 2001

Dear Tulane Community:

I am writing you today with very sad news. Yesterday, November 10, Tulane student Julia A. Harrison died at Tulane University Hospital. Health officials have confirmed that Julia, 19, died of meningococcal blood infection. I met with Julia's parents and her sister this morning to offer our deepest sympathy and to learn more about this student who was clearly a talented and exceptional person.

Julia, a Newcomb College sophomore, was from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She had a great passion for music and dance and was very active with music programming at WTUL. She was also involved in our Theatre and Dance Program. Her parents tell me that Julia was also deeply interested in our Latin American Studies program, as well, and had recently traveled to Cuba through Tulane's Summer In Cuba Program. She had a real zest for expanding her intellectual and artistic talents and interests while at Tulane. Julia's parents have expressed a desire to meet with the professors who had so influenced her life. This is a real reminder that what we do every day touches people's lives in profound ways.

I want to assure everyone, and especially our students, that this tragic event does not place them in immediate danger. We have notified those individuals who we know had close physical contact with Julia in the last week of her life. Public health officials recommend that any other individuals who fit this description should consult their physician. Our Student Health Center has extended its hours to provide information and care for students who feel they require medical attention. Please refer to for more information on the symptoms and recommendations relating to meningococcal disease.

The untimely death of this extraordinary young woman has left the Tulane community heartsick. Her family and friends are in our prayers as we mourn with them at this most difficult time. We are currently planning a campus service in memory of Julia. I will let you know as soon as a date and time have been established.


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