Just after Hurricane Katrina, with the Tulane University campus closed for the semester, administrators huddled in Houston, unable to communicate with students and employees, who had fled from the storm. Armed with only its emergency website, Tulane began news posts branded with the New Wave logo.
It was Sept. 15, 2005, when the first New Wave bulletin
went up on the Tulane website — an article about storm recovery at the Tulane National Primate Research Center.
Four days later, a story described the brave work of undergraduates with Tulane Emergency Medical Services
(TEMS) as they mobilized into a disaster-response team.
The university had depended on print publications to disperse news, but New Wave’s online articles quickly became the source for community members and alumni starved for news about Tulane.
“The Tulane community was so dispersed that we needed a way to reach them through online communication,” said Debbie Grant, vice president of communications and marketing. “There was a great hunger for news about Tulane, both within the university and from non-affiliated people.”
As more articles and photographs began to be posted, readership of the Tulane website began to build.
“I thought being actively engaged in our recovery from the storm would be a good thing for all of our staff, almost therapeutic,” Grant said. At that point, she added, there was no downside to trying something different: “It was quickly obvious that our way of communicating was going to be forever changed.”
Eventually, New Wave updates began to be emailed to the Tulane audiences. Seven years later, news is emailed each morning to more than 35,000 subscribers, from a widespread campus audience to alumni, parents of students and members of the news media.
Now there is an all-new design of 2012 New Wave
to view. The redesign, which debuted just before the fall semester opened, offers frequent postings of news items, photographs and video content during the day, as well as featured material curated by its editors.