New Auditorium Opens on Canal Street

April 21, 2005

Chris Smith
Phone: 504-247-1425

Tulane University will dedicate the Collins C. Diboll Auditorium Complex, a new 250-seat auditorium and gallery at 1440 Canal Street, on Friday, April 29 at 4 p.m.

"The auditorium is a truly wonderful addition for us because it features the latest in equipment, which allows our teachers and lecturers to create a superb learning environment," says Pierre Buekens, dean of the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. "It's a far-sighted gift and I thank the trustees of the Diboll Foundation for their vision."

Classes began to be held in the state-of-the-art auditorium this spring. "It's great to be able to use different media seamlessly," says Mark VanLandingham, who teaches social and behavioral aspects of global health in the auditorium this semester. "I can move from PowerPoint slides to film to a document camera with ease. The system has a pen and pad that lets me annotate projected slides while I'm lecturing."

The auditorium is supported by the Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation, which pledged $900,000 toward its construction. The trustees of the foundation also dedicated $300,000 to the Collins C. Diboll Program Initiatives Project which supports the Freshman Year Experience. Collins C. Diboll Sr. was a partner in one of New Orleans' leading architectural firms of the early twentieth century, Diboll and Owen.

Buildings created by the firm include the United Fruit Company Building, Notre Dame Archdiocesan Seminary, the Academy of Sacred Heart complex on St. Charles Avenue, the Prytania Street Presbyterian Church, and the Warren dormitories on the Tulane uptown campus. Collins C. Diboll Jr. followed in his father's footsteps and became an architect in the firm Diboll, Kessels and Associates, later called Kessels, Diboll and Kessels.

Their buildings include: the Greyhound Terminal (now demolished), the former Tidewater Building on Canal Street, the Holiday Inn French Quarter, Norman Mayer Hall on the Tulane uptown campus, Oschner Foundation Hospital and numerous parking garages.

In the 1990s, the Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation gave $1 million to establish the Joseph S. Copes Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in honor of the grandfather and great-grandfather of Collins Diboll Jr. and Sr. Copes became a leading figure in sanitary reform and medical treatment, particularly control of diseases such as small pox, yellow fever and typhoid, and he was one of the founders of the American Medical Association.

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