November 4, 2011


Good Morning:

I am writing this from New York City. I grew up just across the Hudson River from here in Metuchen, New Jersey. Whenever I return to this area, I recall the opportunities that led me from a small town in central Jersey to the presidency of Tulane University. I never imagined back then the journey my life would take, but I always knew our country offered boundless opportunity for everyone.

Helping to ensure that such opportunity exists for the present and future generations is the reason I accepted the invitation to join New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel, CNN's Fareed Zakaria and other business, media, political and nonprofit leaders for today's Opportunity Nation Summit, a bipartisan effort to establish a new commitment to increasing opportunity and access to the American Dream.

Opportunity Nation's goal is to convince our leaders, from the president and Congress to local governing bodies, to work together to create better skills, better jobs, better communities and better economic and social mobility.

Tulane is doing its part by being the country's first and only major research university to integrate community engagement into its undergraduate core curriculum. We have also launched Tulane Empowers, an effort to use the knowledge, expertise and energy of Tulane to increase opportunity and empower others to help their neighbors find successful pathways to education and jobs.

I believe, as Opportunity Nation does, that the zip code in which you are born, whether it's in New Jersey or New Orleans, shouldn't determine your destiny - you should. And we, as community members, have a responsibility to create communities of opportunity for everyone.

Have a great weekend,


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