May 16, 2003

Good Morning:

Commencement weekend is here! The stage is set on the Gibson Quad for tonight's Wave Goodbye celebration honoring our graduates and their families. In addition to great New Orleans food, guests will also enjoy music by Marcia Ball and Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers.

But the main event is tomorrow, May 17, at 9:30 a.m. in the Superdome. More than 2,300 graduates and their families will take part in a commencement ceremony that has to be a one-of-a-kind event among graduations. What other university's commencement includes a second-line procession, performances by jazz greats Wanda Rouzan and Michael White, confetti cannons and a beach ball drop?

The day will also feature a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and renowned political and social commentator David Halberstam, who has authored best-selling books ranging from the Vietnam War to 9/11. Halberstam's landmark work "The Best and Brightest" inspired a generation of journalists from Watergate reporter Bob Woodward to "Black Hawk Down" author Mark Bowden.

While Halberstam, who was a guest on "Good Morning America" just a few days ago, is sure to be a big draw, the real stars of the day are, of course, our graduates of whom we are so proud. I hope you will join me in celebrating and honoring their achievements.

Have a great Commencement Weekend,


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