"Tulane gave me an education and I made friendships that have endured though my life. I encourage everyone to attend the reunion to reunite with friends and remember a special time." -
-Herschel Richard, Jr., A&S '67
I grew up in a real small town in Louisiana called Springhill. You can't get any farther north in Louisiana than Springhill. On the street that I lived on, there were two brothers and another person who went to Tulane – those were guys I looked up to. So when I got an offer to attend Tulane on a scholarship, I signed up right away. Going to New Orleans, the atmosphere was completely different than growing up in a town of 5,000 in the piney woods of north Louisiana. I had a good roommate. He was from Shreveport and he was a football player, too.
The music in New Orleans at that time was phenomenal – Irma Thomas, Ernie K. Doe, Clarence "Frogman" Henry, Professor Longhair, Earl King, Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns. They were all around and they played fraternity parties.
The education I got at Tulane was way over my head, but I had really good teachers. I was an English major and a history minor, and both the English and history departments were great.
I wasn't the greatest student in the world. I did a lot better in law school (at Louisiana State University) than I did in undergraduate school.
After my time at Tulane, I had no intention of coming back to New Orleans. But I was offered a job at the Jones Walker law firm in the city. It helped that I had gone to Tulane. In those days, the New Orleans law firms didn't hire LSU-educated lawyers much. The fact that I had gone to Tulane gave me a leg up.
I wouldn't have been able to go to Tulane without a scholarship. It was a wonderful experience for me, and maybe by me giving some money, and maybe if others do, it will allow someone else to attend Tulane.
"After Katrina, New Orleans was a city in deep collective depression. ... I'm happy to say that the last time I visited, the city really looked like it was in good shape – its temperament, its physical appearance, and the mentality of small-business owners."
-Mike Roos, A&S '67
My parents used to take discretionary trips to New Orleans. I was the first one in my family to go to college. I was just very lucky – really lucky. I had a full baseball scholarship after my freshman year.
New Orleans is a unique American city. At the time I was there, the drinking age was 18. I came from a very prohibitive blue law jurisdiction in Memphis, Tenn., so in New Orleans there was an immediate requirement for sensory discipline. But the whole notion of freedom to govern one's own life and make choices was fairly impactful. Like my parents, I thought it was a beautiful city. And it was an interesting one – a contrast of incredible natural beauty and affluence in the Tulane area and abject poverty lusting not far away.
At Tulane, you had academic life, you had athletic life and you had dorm life. Not many people lived off campus. I met some architecture students and some people who were in student government. The economy of size of Tulane allowed you across-the-board experiences.
Tulane was very much a seedbed for what was to come later in my life and the things that drove me into politics and public affairs. In large measure it was a result of being in the Deep South during the civil rights movement. I played baseball with the first African American baseball player in the Southeastern Conference, Stephen Martin. And the professors I had were very inspiring in terms of government as a tool for productive change. All those things were formative.
When one takes a moment to review one's life, we recognize critical paths to the good life we have all known and enjoyed. Certainly, university was for many of us the most significant thing. Our parents had endured a depression and a world war, and many of us were the first in our family to attend college. Tulane was a leap in social and intellectual growth, and I was the beneficiary of the limitless possibilities all that implies. It is now time to pay back.
“It really is hard to believe it’s been 45 years since graduation. I can remember more vividly events from my years at Tulane that I can recall what I did last year. I encourage my classmates to take advantage of the opportunity to be with old friends and classmates you may have not seen in many years.”
- Robert Silverberg, B '67
I met up with some old friends in New York City recently. We can regale ourselves with stories from our time at Tulane to no end. We not only have children now, but grandchildren. We’ve all left New Orleans behind, but it is still a part of us. New Orleans gets in your blood and it is certainly true for me. It’s a memorable city.
My sister, who was four years older than me, attended Newcomb and it was no surprise to my parents that I would want to go to Tulane. I was happy to have followed in her footsteps. More importantly, I benefited enormously from my four years at Tulane. I was pleased that the Business School got me in the frame of mind that allowed me to pursue law school and my career as legal counsel to airlines and aeronautical enterprises. I’m grateful for that, and I’m grateful for the friendships that I developed with my classmates.
Most colleges and universities cannot financially survive based on tuition alone. Alumni giving is a very significant piece of the financial picture of all institutions of higher learning and Tulane is no exception. Tulane’s need for support coupled with my pride in the university generates my strong interest in making annual contributions. Alumni can be especially proud of the contributions Tulane has made to the great city of New Orleans since Katrina. Converting one’s positive feelings into tangible action not only supports Tulane’s mission, but it is also personally very satisfying.
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