December 11, 2009

Good Morning:

Have you heard the news of the extraordinary $50 million pledge Tulane University has received from the Weatherhead Foundation?

This gift is all the more meaningful to me because of the personal connection I have with Albert J. Weatherhead III and his wife, Celia, who oversee the Weatherhead Foundation.

I first met Al and Celia about 30 years ago when I was a young assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Our friendship continued through the years and eventually I became the Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Management and dean of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. I was always awed by the Weatherheads' commitment to higher education and the breadth and depth of their generosity to a few exceptional universities. Their standards of excellence and creative philanthropy have set a superb example for others around the country.

The Weatherheads have also had a profound influence on me personally. Celia, a graduate of Newcomb College and a member of the Board of Tulane, was instrumental in my decision to interview for the Tulane presidency in 1997 and to ultimately leave Case Western, where I was very happy, and come to Tulane, where I found true fulfillment and purpose. Likewise, Al has been a valuable mentor, dear friend and adviser to me for years.

Programs such as the one funded by this pledge, which build stronger faculties, are available only at a handful of select universities in the country. By their pledge, the Weatherheads have shown they have faith in us and our aspiration to be counted among the world's most distinguished and distinctive institutions of higher education. I know their faith is well-placed.

Please join me in thanking the Weatherheads for their incredible generosity to Tulane.

Have a great weekend,


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