September 1, 2006

Good morning:

On Wednesday, with classes starting on all of our campuses, we officially began another academic year. It gives me great pleasure to welcome everyone back for what promises to be a very productive year.

As of today, our total student enrollment is more than 10,000, which is about 80 percent of our final fall 2004 number, the last pre-Katrina data available. While this number is smaller than in years past, it is encouraging that so many of the highest achieving students from around the country and the world still covet the opportunity to attend Tulane University. We currently have 5,322 full-time undergraduates registered. That represents 86.5 percent of the final count for that same group in fall 2004. Our School of Medicine is fully subscribed and several of our other professional schools also had strong showings.

Even though the size of our entering undergraduate class is smaller than the 1,400 goal we established last December, the quality of the class is outstanding. The average SAT scores of incoming students this year is 285 points above the national average and a significant portion of the first year students graduated in the top 10 percent of their class. But just as important as academic achievement is the character of the students we are attracting. Any student coming to Tulane now is not here simply to get a degree and have a good time. They have answered their generation’s call to help restore one of the nation’s most unique cities and cultures.

I am also pleased to report that our total external research funding for the year was $134 million, only $3 million less than the total for the year before. This achievement is a tribute to the quality and dedication of our faculty, who did a remarkable job this past year under impossible conditions. It also demonstrates our continued strength as a major research university.

Finally, we had the second strongest fund-raising year in our history, despite the fact that our funding-raising ability was severely compromised for almost half of the year due to Katrina. Our fund-raising success is a tribute to the incredible generosity of our alumni and friends who continue to support us during this challenging and historic time. In many ways our recovery is ahead of schedule, but much more needs to be done before we can secure the future. I have no doubt that the Tulane family - faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends - will continue to do what it takes for us to realize a promising future despite the hurricane tragedy.

Have a great Labor Day,


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