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Oral Histories

Scott Cowen


“By Tuesday there was water as far as I could see it anywhere on campus. That’s when I knew we were in deep, deep trouble.”

Scott S. Cowen


Yvette Jones


“We were rebuilding, trying to re-recruit the students, retain faculty and staff and getting prepared for the spring semester. There were lots of different pieces going on, if you think about how universities work.”

Yvette M. Jones
Executive Vice President for University Relations and Development

Tony Lorino


“Our plan did not contemplate total loss of communication, total evacuation of the city…and inaccessibility of our campus for
three weeks.”

Anthony P. Lorino
Senior Vice President for Operations and Chief Financial Officer

Paul Whelton


“Everyone got out alive. I think we’re probably the only hospital that can say that.”

Paul K. Whelton
Former Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Tulane University School of Medicine;
Now President and CEO of Loyola University, Health System


Anne Banos


“Tuesday morning we woke up and the levees had broken and at that point….all hell was breaking loose.”

Anne P. Baños
Vice President for Administrative Services

Alan Miller


“We had real questions those first few weeks…would (the medical school) ever be able to return?”

Alan Miller
Former Interim Senior Vice President for Health Sciences;
Now Chief of Oncology for Baylor Health Care System and Director of the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center


Cyn Cherrey


“It was the worst day of the year to have a hurricane.”

Cynthia Cherrey
Former Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students;
Now Vice President for Campus Life at Princeton University


Debbie Grant


“The unsaid message was ‘You guys are toast. Let’s see how you wrap this up.’”

Deborah L. Grant
Vice President, University Communications and Marketing

Earl Retif


“Once the Tulane system went down there was nothing to look at, not a single copy of the catalog or a single copy of the class schedule…”

Earl D. Retif
Vice President for Enrollment Management and Registrar

Lee Hamm


“It was apparent we were going to have to evacuate the hospital. The water was gradually coming up. There were rumors that maybe there had been a levee break.”

L. Lee Hamm
Executive Vice Dean, Tulane University School of Medicine, and Chair of the Department of Medicine

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000