Housewarming at homecoming

October 21, 2011 5:45 AM

Fran Simon

During Tulane homecoming festivities, the Bea Field Alumni House will be dedicated in memory of a woman who had been “drafted” into becoming alumni affairs director at Tulane. The 1938-era brick house at 6319 Willow St. was restored after Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters damaged the first floor.

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On Sunday (Oct. 23), the restored alumni house will be dedicated in memory of former alumni director Bea Field. (Photos by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Field, who held degrees in Latin from Newcomb College, became alumni director after the previous director, Kendall Cram, died in World War II. She served as alumni director from 1942 until 1977, then she continued at Tulane as a special assistant to the president.

“I hear stories about her that inspire me to remember legacies and the people we serve at this university. She wrote to every alumnus who was serving in the war,” says Charlotte Travieso, executive director of the Tulane Alumni Association and director of the alumni office since 2000. “Bea Field helped to professionalize alumni relations.”

One of Field’s treasures remaining in the house is a large red book listing names of alumni who celebrated their 50th reunion, beginning with the class of 1899. 

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With its Katrina damage repaired, the alumni house is ready for a new era.

An oil portrait of Field hangs over the fireplace in the mahogany-paneled library and reception parlor of the house, which Tulane purchased in 1952 for $75,000.

The Bea Field Alumni House is poised to become a hub of activity for alumni, students, staff members and the community, says Travieso. “It is ideal for a number of different kinds of events, including receptions, weddings, conferences and meetings.”

The Collins C. Diboll Foundation has established an endowment to support the Office of Alumni Affairs and maintenance of the alumni house. Tulane alumni Jean and Saul A. Mintz through their family foundation and other donors contributed to this endowment.

The alumni house dedication, including a house tour and reception from 1 until 3 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 23), is open to all.


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