Bell Rings for Tulane’s No. 1 Fan

April 6, 2011 5:45 AM

Maureen King

The Tulane Victory Bell was dedicated on Friday (April 1) in front of McAlister Auditorium to honor the enduring spirit of the late Robert “Bobby” J. Boudreau, the Green Wave nation’s No. 1 fan. 

Victory Bell

Giving the Tulane Victory Bell a ring are Rick Dickson, director of athletics, and Margaret Boudreau, wife of the late Bobby J. Boudreau, for whom the bell was dedicated in a ceremony on Friday (April 1). (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Clad in blue and green, family and friends of Boudreau applauded as Tulane President Scott Cowen recounted how his first encounter with the Tulane alumnus left him wondering in admiration, “Who is this man?”

Answering his own question, Cowen told the crowd, “Bobby was, without a doubt, the Green Wave’s No. 1 fan in the history of this university, and no one will ever replace him in that role.”

Cowen remembered Boudreau, who earned Tulane undergraduate (1951) and law (1953) degrees, as respected and beloved by everyone who knew him, a “spiritual leader of sorts.” Cowen recalled that, “... during good times and the bad times, it was always Bobby who reached out to give me some words of wisdom and comfort, and there’s not a day I don’t think about him.”

Sporting strawberry regalia, alumni Bob and Carol Cudd spoke of their friendship and shared history with Boudreau as members of the Strawberry People, a group of Tulane and Newcomb alumni who met annually for more than 50 years and established the Strawberry People Reunion Scholarship.

Charlotte Travieso, director of alumni affairs, read the official resolution establishing the Bobby Boudreau Spirit Award, and announced the criteria for nominations for the first annual “Bobby” award to be presented at homecoming in October.

Cowen invited Margaret Boudreau, Bobby’s wife and a 1951 Newcomb College graduate, to ring the victory bell to celebrate the enduring spirit of her husband. Afterwards, the crowd joined Cowen and the Green Wave cheerleaders in a “Helluva Hullaballoo” cheer before second-lining to Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, waving Bobby hankies and cheering on the Green Wave’s match against the University of Houston, Bobby-style.

The victory bell was donated to the university by former Louisiana Gov. Richard W. Leche, whose son, Charles Leche, a 1971 Tulane Law School grad, was a special guest at the dedication.

Maureen King is a writer in the Office of Development.

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