Letter from President Michael Fitts

May 29, 2015

Dear Members of the Class of 2019, 

As president of Tulane University, I am happy to extend an enthusiastic welcome to you.  Men We Reaped, the critically acclaimed memoir by Tulane professor Jesmyn Ward. We are fortunate to have this National Book Award-winning author on our faculty, and we look forward to experiencing her work together.  

This year, the Reading Project will form the cornerstone of a new initiative, Forum Tulane, designed to foster intellectual exploration through a university-wide conversation around a common theme. Our first featured theme is resilience. Men We Reaped weaves this theme throughout Prof. Ward's deeply personal story of grief, struggle, and survival. No matter what your academic interests, I am confident that you will find Men We Reaped to be a compelling read, and that you will look forward to the opportunity to discuss it with your professors and fellow students this fall.  

Free copies of the book will be distributed to all students attending the June orientation sessions.  In July, we will mail the book to those of you who were unable to visit campus in June.  For students who require an alternative version to the hard copy book due to print disability, please contact the Goldman Office of Disability Services at 504-862-8433 or Melissa Weber in the Newcomb-Tulane College Office of Cocurricular Programs at

This fall, we will offer a series of events exploring the themes addressed by Men We Reaped, as well as a keynote lecture and informal discussion groups with Jesmyn Ward.  Please also visit the Events and Activities page for a schedule of events, which will be updated throughout the summer as additional events are scheduled.  And check the Materials and Resources page for additional materials pertinent to the book, such as guidelines for discussion and other web-based resources. 

I hope that you will enjoy reading Men We Reaped before you arrive on campus.  The Tulane community looks forward to meeting each of you in August and engaging with you in your first intellectual experience as Tulane students.  Enjoy the rest of your summer.   



Michael A. Fitts

Newcomb-Tulane College Programs, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5728