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Band, Football Players Reunite at Homecoming

October 1, 2007

Fran Simon

John Suares attended Tulane University during the Great Depression and the Prohibition era, when undergraduate men wore knickers to school and rode in rumble seats. But Suares has a lot in common with thousands of other Tulane alumni -- he is excited about the prospect of returning to Tulane and New Orleans, his hometown, for Homecoming activities Oct. 21-28.


While the new-era Tulane Marching Band is entertaining football crowds (top) this season, band alumnus John Suares (below) looks forward to reuniting with former musicians at this fall's Homecoming celebration. (Photos by Paula Burch-Celentano)

A saxophone player who graduated from Tulane medical school in 1937, Suares anticipates the reunion of alumni who played in the band.

The Tulane University Marching Band invites all band alumni to play with the current marching band at the football game against the University of Memphis Tigers on Saturday, Oct. 27, in the Louisiana Superdome and at a pep rally prior to the game.

All alumni band participants will receive game tickets in the block next to the Tulane University Marching Band, plus a commemorative shirt and hat to wear at the game.

The alumni band activities will honor the late Ted DeMuth, director of bands (1968 – 82), who also was involved in the first Saints band and served as musical director for the halftime shows at five Super Bowls.

For more information and to register, contact Bruce Pollock, director of the Tulane marching band (1971 – 78).

100107_alumni2Bill Lichtenstein, a 1982 Tulane graduate and a Green Wave football letterman, is drumming up a 25-year reunion for his teammates.

The class will celebrate in a silver tent at the Superdome Homecoming Village before the football game.

There will be other party tents for alumni celebrating 10- and 20-year reunions, plus a general reunion tent for everyone with catered food. The popular New Orleans band Bag of Donuts is scheduled to play.

Lichtenstein was an offensive lineman during glory years (1978-82) when Tulane beat Louisiana State University three times and went to two bowl games. Several players from that period went on to play professional football.

Lichtenstein got fired up to promote Homecoming when he and fellow player Kirk Robb came to New Orleans for Jazz Fest this past May. With the help of the Alumni Affairs office, he sent letters to more than 100 former players to encourage them to come.


Alumni and football lettermen Bill Lichtenstein, left, and Kirk Robb, right, are firing up support for a 25-year reunion of their football teammates. (Photo from Bill Lichtenstein)

"We haven't had an organized players reunion since I left," Lichtenstein says. "I tell all the alumni to come home to Tulane to support the university and New Orleans -- before you're too old to enjoy it!" Lichtenstein can be reached at

One Homecoming event not to miss this year will be the Wave '07 reunion reception at the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life on Friday, Oct. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The unified celebration will honor the classes that graduated in years ending in "2" and "7" and will be open to all Tulane alumni, parents, friends and supporters.

Live music at the Wave '07 reunion will feature Delfeayo Marsalis of the renowned New Orleans Marsalis family.

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