May 17, 2013

Good Morning: 

I have been busy this week putting the finishing touches on my Commencement 2013 remarks and also learning the proper protocol for greeting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. I'll admit that sharing speaking duties with such a revered figure, whose wisdom and teachings have gained him millions of followers and admirers worldwide, is a bit daunting. But once I recalled how remarkable the class of 2013 is -- a class that entered Tulane as one of the country's most academically qualified and is graduating as one of its most accomplished -- the words just flowed.

A special class like this deserves this memorable Commencement, which will also feature U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and legendary New Orleans musicians Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. This will also be another chance to tell the Tulane story to the world as NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, the Associated Press and our local media are all planning coverage of this special day. The banners are hung, the grass is cut, the script is written and the stage is set for what promises to be our most well-attended Commencement ever. The fun begins this evening as we welcome graduates and their families to Wave Goodbye, a party that will remind them of the great food, great music and great people that helped complete their Tulane experience.

Congratulations to our graduates, the faculty who taught them and the families who raised them. Thanks also to the many staff members who are coordinating this weekend's celebration and to Ron Marks, dean of the School of Social Work. It is through Ron and his students' work with Tibetan refugees that we are able to host this year's special Commencement speaker. The Dalai Lama's visit is a gift not only to Tulane but to our entire city at a time when his words of wisdom and compassion are needed more than ever.

Have a great Commencement weekend,


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