October 7, 2011
Do you know the story of Bea Field? In a university built by extraordinarily dedicated students, faculty, staff and alumni, Bea is in a class of her own. Affectionately known as "Miss Tulane," Beatrice McMillan Field was appointed director of alumni activities in 1942, a position she would maintain until her retirement in 1977.
Bea's energy and enthusiasm were truly remarkable. She became a national leader in the field of alumni affairs. Under her leadership, the Tulane Alumni Association won numerous awards and honors, and she was elected president of the American Alumni Council, one of the first women to hold that position.
In 1954 Bea established the Tulane Educational Conference. These "educational road shows" brought Tulane faculty to alumni club cities throughout the country to discuss their research and other scholarly topics. In 22 years these conferences traveled to 24 cities throughout the U.S. and to Mexico City. Bea also established the Tulane Alumni Fund, another project of hers that received national recognition.
Upon her retirement, the New Orleans States-Item declared that, "No one person, of any rank in the university, has done more for Tulane than did Bea Field in the 32 years since she began her alumni duties."
Even after her retirement Bea remained at Tulane as a consultant to Tulane President Sheldon Hackney and my predecessor Eamon Kelly. During this time she also compiled POTPOURRI: An Assortment of Tulane's People and Places, which is a wonderful source for historical information on the university. Shortly before her death in 1986, her devotion to Tulane was recognized when she received Newcomb's Lifetime Service Award.
On Oct. 23 at 1 p.m., we will officially dedicate the Bea Field Alumni House in honor of this great woman and friend of Tulane. A reception will follow the dedication and all alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and members of the community are encouraged to attend. The dedication will also celebrate the return of the Office of Alumni Affairs to its Willow Street home after a six-year struggle to rebuild after Katrina.
I think Bea would have admired their fight.
Have a great weekend,
218 Gibson Hall, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5201 firstname.lastname@example.org