An Evolutionary Process

July 6, 2003

Inside Tulane
Phone: (504) 865-5714

Commencement is always about the moment. It is a marker in time that will stand out in the history of an individual's life and the life of his or her family. So we play it up with large video screens and live music and confetti cannons and beachballs.

inside0601_grad9But we also try to do it justice with words. See "The Slow Track is the Right Track" to learn what words journalist David Halberstam had for the graduates, families and guests of the 169th Tulane University commencement. But at this moment, however, read Tulane President Scott Cowen's thoughtful advice to the degree candidates.

"One does not need wealth or position or stature to have character. In fact, character is the most powerful non-economic virtue that can transform an individual, a nation and a world. Some would have us believe that if we don't have character by now in our lives, it is not possible to develop it. This is not true. The development of character is an evolutionary process requiring continuous learning, a lifelong dedication to introspection, and a willingness to adapt and change as life dictates. Character is more a product of failure than success, more a product of risk-taking than compliancy, of giving rather than taking, seeking what is true rather than what you can justify."

Graduates with unbrella and beads Equipped with umbrella and beads, public health grads commence, New Orleans style


Beach balls released from the Superdome's rafters make good souvenirs Graduates with beach balls


Scott Cowen, Larry Ponoroff, and David Halberstam In the robing room before the ceremony, Tulane President Scott Cowen and Larry Ponoroff, dean of the law school, trade stories with commencement speaker David Halberstam
The Wave Goodbye party on May 16 was a great venue for one mother to share in her son's achievement A graduate and his mother


Paul Whelton, Peirre Buekens, and Alan Miller lr) Paul Whelton, senior vice president for the health sciences, Pierre Buekens, dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; and Alan Miller, vice president of clinical affairs, chat before commencement
Tulane College students divvy up a catch of commencement throws Graduates with commencement beads
Wanda Rouzan and Michael White Wanda Rouzan and Michael White explain what it means to miss New Orleans


A grad's-eye-view of the ceremony The commencement stage, seen from the Newcomb section


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