The story of Tulane University would not be complete without the contributions of the many important people from diverse backgrounds who have made a substantial and lasting impact on our campus.
In April 2019, President Mike Fitts announced an exciting new initiative to honor these Tulanians who led the way to the university becoming a more inclusive, diverse and welcoming community.
In 2019, the Board of Tulane approved naming Willow Residences, currently designated for the street on which they sit, in honor of the first African American undergraduates to earn degrees from Newcomb and Tulane, respectively: Deidre Dumas Labat (NC ’66, G ’69) and Reynold T. Décou (A&S ’67, ’79). In addition, The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Gender and Sexual Diversity, as well as their new space in the Richardson Building, was named the Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life in honor of the campus pioneer whose decades of dedication to the Tulane community have been instrumental in its movement toward greater inclusion.
The university celebrated these new designations with special ceremonies and celebrations while recognizing many other great Tulanians, including Bobby Yan (TC ’95), a six-time Emmy Award winner and the founder of Tulane’s Asian American Student Union, for whom the Bobby Yan Lecture in Media and Social Change was named; and Luis Guillermo Solís (G ’81), for whom a professorship was named.