October 18, 2005

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Tulane University announced today that it will seek to raise $100 million in unrestricted relief money in the next two and a half years to defray costs incurred during the Hurricane Katrina recovery process. The $100 million is part of the university's ongoing $700 million fundraising campaign.

In a statement ( to Tulane's alumni, faculty, staff and students, Tulane President Scott Cowen outlined the need for the Tulane Rebuilding Fund at

"I have absolutely no intention of allowing this disaster to jeopardize our future and dreams for the university," Cowen stated. "We expect to meet this goal in the next two and half years, including at least $25 million by the end of this academic year. The funds will be allocated to areas of greatest need within the university to people, programs or improvements in infrastructure, such as new or renovated buildings."

In addition, Cowen will recommend to the Tulane University Board in December that the university's ongoing fundraising campaign goal of $700 million be raised significantly to strategically reposition the university in the future.

"Out of this tragedy, we have an unprecedented opportunity to further strengthen, distinguish and focus our university. The remainder of the campaign should be devoted to this objective," he said. Insurance will cover only a fraction of the university's losses from operations and property damage.

Water from the 17th Street Canal flooded many basements and first floors of buildings north of Freret Street as well as the Tulane Health Sciences Center in the Central Business District, requiring immediate remediation to stem damage. Tulane hired Belfor, an international remediation company, to oversee the repair and restoration of campus by December 31. Several hundred workers have been on-site since September 10.

Most of the institution's $810 million endowment is restricted and cannot be tapped to cover expenses related to campus repair. "Furthermore," Cowen stated, "as a private university we are unlikely to receive any significant government support for our recovery. To secure our future and stem our losses, we need to raise funds in unprecedented amounts."

Cowen, who was appointed to New Orleans' Mayor Ray Nagin's Bring New Orleans Back Commission, urged Tulane supporters to rally around the university's recovery and to come to the aid of the city. "Be strong advocates for Tulane University and New Orleans," Cowen urged.

Tulane was forced to cancel its fall semester due to Katrina but established a temporary office in Houston shortly after the storm. Cowen and his team of administrators will permanently return to New Orleans by November 1 to prepare for the spring semester, which begins January 17, 2006.

Citation information:

Page accessed: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Page URL:

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