U.S. Presidents Highlight Tulane University's Commencement

May 12, 2006

Mike Strecker
Phone: 504-865-5210

Live jazz music, herald trumpets, second-liners, a balloon drop, a confetti shower and keynote addresses by George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, and William J. Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, will highlight Tulane University's triumphant 2006 Commencement, May 13 at 9:30 a.m. in the New Orleans Arena.

The event is Tulane's first university-wide commencement since Hurricane Katrina put two-thirds of its campus underwater, caused $300 million in property damages and revenue losses and forced the school to close for the fall 2005 semester.

"At various times after the storm we feared this day might never happen. Now we are going to celebrate it in true New Orleans style," Tulane President Scott Cowen said.

Nearly 2,200 graduates and more than 450 faculty members will participate in the ceremony, which will be witnessed by a capacity crowd of 17,000. Mardi Gras beads bearing a ceramic medallion embossed with the fleur-de-lis (the symbol of New Orleans) and the Tulane shield will be distributed to graduates and audience members as will customized second-line handkerchiefs bearing the fleur-de-lis and the words "Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?"

More than 70 representatives of media outlets nationwide including all major networks and CNN plan to cover the commencement. For a full schedule of Commencement 2006 events visit 

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