May 11, 2007

Good Morning:

I started off the week with the great news that our first-time freshmen enrollment numbers for the fall had increased 56 percent from last year. Since that announcement, the numbers have increased even more. Now, we are just five students shy of our optimal goal of an entering class of 1,400.

This encouraging news comes just as we are about to have another memorable Commencement on May 19 at 9 a.m. in the New Orleans Arena. This year's celebration will feature 2,000 graduates, more than 100 faculty in full academic regalia and thousands of proud families and friends from throughout the country.

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams will be our keynote speaker. Brian has been a true friend and advocate for Tulane University and the city of New Orleans. He was the only network evening news anchor to report from New Orleans before Katrina hit and the only network news anchor to report from the Superdome during the storm. He continues to cover our story and, in fact, plans to broadcast the Nightly News from New Orleans the day before Commencement.

We will also honor two other friends of New Orleans. Best-selling author John M. Barry, whose award-winning works include "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America," will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Educator, mentor and musician Ellis Marsalis, regarded by many as the premier modern jazz pianist in New Orleans, will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts.

In addition to all the traditional pomp and circumstance, this year's commencement will feature Dr. Michael White's Original Liberty Jazz Band, jazz singer Wanda Rouzan, herald trumpets, a balloon drop, confetti cannons and a traditional New Orleans second-line procession.

If you can't make the ceremony, the Commencement will be streamed live at An archive of the video will also be available at this link after the ceremony.

Commencement 2007 promises to be a fitting celebration for all that we have achieved over these past two years and the greatness for which we are destined.

Have a great weekend,


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638