September 4, 2009

Good Morning:

The success of an entrepreneur was once measured by the profit he or she made. Today, a new wave of entrepreneurs known as social entrepreneurs measure success by the positive change their ventures bring to alleviating intractable societal problems with creative and innovative solutions.

New Orleans is a fertile ground for these new "change makers" who combine business principles with efforts to reduce poverty, improve education, eliminate health disparities, reverse environmental degradation and address other societal ills. Building upon our strengths in civic engagement and public service, Tulane is now developing a university-wide set of initiatives in social entrepreneurship. No matter their field of study, we want every Tulane student to consider the possibility of social entrepreneurship.

To kick off this effort we are looking for students who are passionate about making a difference to join the Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, a new program that seeks to transform universities into incubators of the next generation of social entrepreneurs. This team of students will help organize events and programs that support social innovation and entrepreneurship at Tulane and collaborate with their peers at other select universities around the country. The deadline to become part of this effort, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students, is Sept. 7. To apply, please visit this website.

We will also host a NewDay Speaker Series featuring leading social entrepreneurs Darrell Hammond, founder and CEO of KABOOM! Playgrounds (Nov. 2), Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka (Feb. 2, 2010), and Blake Mykoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes (March 9, 2010). These distinguished lecturers will also participate in a number of community and campus events during their visits, meeting with students, faculty and members of the community.

This spring, we will also launch the NewDay Challenge that will award a Tulane student or group up to $20,000 in seed funding for a financially sustainable social enterprise. In addition, we will begin a national search for the Sacks Endowed Distinguished Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane, who will oversee the development of Tulane's social entrepreneurship programs. We are also raising funds for at least five professorships to support social entrepreneurship on campus. The professorships will be granted to any faculty whose interests can be linked to social entrepreneurship, regardless of school or discipline. The search for the Sacks distinguished chair and the appointment of the professors will be administered through the Provost's Office.

I am expecting great things from this latest Tulane venture. It will be exciting to see all the innovative ways Tulanians discover to change our community and world. It also holds the promise of elevating and solidifying our national reputation for civic engagement and public service.

Tulane will also be on a national stage tonight as the Green Wave opens its season against Tulsa in the Superdome at 7 p.m. I hope to see you there. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN so be sure to wear your green. I'll be wearing mine.

Have a great Labor Day weekend,


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