November 7, 2008

Good Morning:

As we come to the end of a historic, and I am sure for many of you exhausting, week and campaign season I want to share my pride in the Tulane community's participation in this year's presidential race.

A speech by Sen. Barack Obama in Fogelman Arena, a debate between Mike Huckabee and Harold Ford Jr. in McAlister Auditorium, a series of debate watch parties in Josephine Louise Hall, t-shirts, sidewalk chalkings, posters, expert media comments by faculty members and, finally, long lines leading to voting booths at the LBC, were some of the many ways Tulanians took part in this process that is so vital to our democracy.

Margie and I arrived at the LBC voting site at 6 a.m. on Tuesday hoping the line and wait would be short. As it turned out, there were about 100 people ahead of us, most of whom were students voting in their first presidential election. These students were so excited by the election and what it would mean to their future. Margie and I were captivated by their spirit, enthusiasm and sense of awe and hope. With students like this, the future is indeed bright for all of us.

This year's race pitted two compelling candidates, Sen. John McCain, a genuine American hero whose service to country took him from a prison cell in Hanoi to the halls of Congress and Sen. Barack Obama, a charismatic young man who promised a new direction and embodied the hope of generations before him who, for many years, had been denied full participation in the American dream.

In the end, the election belonged to Sen. Obama and to history, and I believe even the most partisan among us acknowledged the significance of the fundamental change that had come to our country. I must admit that I had tears in my eyes when I listened to both Senators McCain and Obama Tuesday evening. Both shone in their moments of defeat and victory and so did our country.

During my tenure here at Tulane I have had the privilege of meeting with our nation's leaders and testifying before Congress. I, along with members of our senior leadership team, look forward to the opportunity of working with the new administration and the new Congress on various issues that affect Tulane, New Orleans and the higher education community.

We have great hope for President Obama and for our country's future.

Have a great weekend,


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