Letter to New Orleans

Tulane Magazine, December 2017

Dear New Orleans,

Three years ago, you welcomed me with open arms. I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. Because there is no place like you.

You are a smile in an afternoon thunderstorm. You are a sno-ball (grape, always) in August. You are golden rays of sun, beaming between limbs of dancing oaks.

You are marvelous. Magical. Unexpected. You are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

New Orleans, You are my home. You have my heart.

Happy Birthday — 300 looks good on you.

It is my hope that Tulane will age as gracefully as New Orleans; growing stronger and wiser with every passing year. And, in its 184th year, I think Tulane has the result of New Orleans’ fingerprints dancing across all that we do. From the way we eat, to the way we serve our community, to the way we seek happiness in each day—only in New Orleans could Tulane thrive as the playground for the intellectually curious that it is today.

This New Orleans ethos is a critical reason why 2017 continues to be the strongest year in Tulane’s history. You can measure that in the remarkable work and spirit of every Tulanian. Like New Orleans, Tulane fosters entrepreneurship and creativity, a joyful ambition to make the world a better place.

Like New Orleans, Tulane sings a siren call that attracts the bold and adventurous. They come to a place that encourages them, above all else, to be themselves. They come to a city they will always call home, wherever else they might roam.

Like New Orleans, Tulane has learned hard-fought lessons about courage and resilience, lessons that we are eager to share with the world.

Tulane’s outward-facing spirit is one of its greatest strengths—a direct result of the unshakeable bond we’ve always shared with New Orleans. This relationship shapes who we are, and it defines the kind of leaders Tulane continues to generate.

For 184 of New Orleans’ 300 years, Tulane and New Orleans have grown and flourished together. And the best is yet to come.

So happy birthday, New Orleans. Here’s to another 300.

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