Yulman Stadium built on bond forged after Hurricane Katrina

November 5, 2012 10:50 AM

New Wave staff

It was a storm named Katrina and a daughter named Katy that ultimately led to a stadium named Yulman, says the man who made the lead gift of $15 million to build the new on-campus stadium at Tulane University.


Richard Yulman made the lead gift of $15 million to build the new on-campus stadium. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Richard Yulman was elected to the Board of Tulane in 2005, but Hurricane Katrina struck before he could attend his first meeting.

Viewing the destruction on TV, Yulman’s daughter, Katy, who had graduated from Tulane a few months before, asked her dad how she could help her alma mater recover from the storm.

So Yulman’s first act as a board member was to email Scott Cowen.

“The email basically said, ‘Do you need volunteers?’” Yulman remembers. “And Scott’s response within 10 minutes was, ‘If Katy is willing to go 24-7, she can work for me in Houston,’ where he and his staff had relocated after the storm.”
Katy spent three months working with senior staff in Houston, making incredible friends and memories to last a lifetime, Yulman says.
“She was like their mascot, and they took great care of her. These are the stories that sometimes determine why great gifts are given to a university,” says Yulman, the retired co-chair and owner of mattress manufacturer Serta International.

Yulman and his wife Janet, along with Jill and Avie Glazer, and Tom and Gayle Benson, were the major stadium donors announced at a press conference held on Thursday (Nov. 1) in the Wilson Center. 

The excitement was palpable as reporters, fans and student-athletes gathered for the announcement.

“Roll Wave and thank you!” Yulman exclaimed. “My wife Janet and I are so happy to be here today and so honored that Tulane’s new football stadium will bear our family name.  Tulane football has a storied history and belongs on this campus. We are glad to help bring it back home.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu