October 10, 2008

Good Morning:

I have some exciting news about a partnership Tulane University recently formed with The Posse Foundation that promises (along with our increasing recruiting efforts in Louisiana high schools) to enhance the diversity and quality of our undergraduate student body.

The Posse Foundation was founded in 1989 after a young educator named Deborah Bial was told by a student that he would never have dropped out of college if he had had his "posse" with him. Bial recognized in that remark the fact that capable students from multicultural backgrounds can often become adrift at the university level when they lose the social networks that sustained them during their adolescence and they find themselves in an environment with little opportunity for interaction.

So Bial formed the Posse Foundation to identify, recruit and train dynamic urban public high school students and send them to elite colleges and universities in multicultural teams or "posses." Posse Scholars are awarded scholarships from Posse partner colleges and universities.

So far the foundation has placed nearly 2,000 students at 28 schools such as Brandeis University, Vanderbilt University, Carleton College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College and other highly sought-after institutions. Each Posse team undergoes an intensive eight month Pre-Collegiate Training Program, which obviously works. Posse Scholars are currently graduating at a rate of more than 90 percent, well above the national average.

The Posse program is a win-win for everyone. Universities benefit from having a larger pool of top students from diverse backgrounds. Posse Scholars benefit by receiving an education at some of the nation's best schools and society benefits by more cross-cultural communication and increased diversity among tomorrow's leaders.

Tulane will welcome its first set of Posse Scholars in the fall of 2009. The Posse Foundation requires that partner universities select their Posse Scholars from outside their geographic area. Our first set of between 10 and 12 Posse Scholars will come from the Los Angeles area. I can't wait for you to meet them.

Have a great weekend,


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