November 16, 2001

Good Morning:

This very difficult week began with a memorial service for Newcomb College sophomore Julia Harrison. I think Julia's family was touched by the number of students, faculty and staff who attended the service in honor of her and for the outpouring of sympathy expressed.

We have had no additional cases of meningococcal disease on campus and our health officials do not fear an outbreak either at the university or among the general public. While indescribably tragic, our experts tell us that the two student deaths we have experienced within the past seven months is not out of the ordinary when one considers the vulnerability of college-age students to this disease.

The threat of meningococcal disease led off meetings I had this week with the Associated Student Body and members of the Board of Tulane. Everyone's mind was also on the tragic crash of Flight 587 in New York and how badly we feel for the lives lost and for New Yorkers facing yet another tragedy in their city.

There were a few bright spots to the week. I received a pile of thank-you letters from the Lusher kids that would lift anyone's spirits. The letters were simply beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I hadn't anticipated that our hospitality would mean so much to these young people.

I was also able to host the dedication ceremony for The Robert E. Flowerree III Courtyard, the Merryl and Sam Israel Jr. Environmental Sciences Building, the J. Bennett Johnston Bioenvironmental Sciences Quadrangle and the W.M. Keck Instrument Room. It was a picture-perfect night for the dedication. This complex is a wonderful addition to the campus.

Finally, I wanted to tell you about a special "Book Giving Tree" that, beginning November 19, will be placed at my office and at locations throughout campus, including the University Center, the Rue de la Course Coffeehouse, the Diboll Complex, the Health and Environmental Research Building and the Primate Center. You can help inspire the love of reading in a child this holiday season by selecting an ornament and buying a book of your choice for the child named on the ornament. It is a very worthy cause and I hope you will consider participating.

Have a good weekend,


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