The Tipping Point

Tulane Magazine, March 2018

For 184 years, Tulane has been a beacon to the bold, a siren’s call to trailblazers and pioneers. Ours is an audacious spirit, passed on from our founders to generation after generation of Tulane graduates.

Today, Tulane has never been more ambitious. From research that changes the world, to service that utterly transforms our community, Tulane has never mattered more than we do right now. But we’ve reached this moment in time against incredible odds.

We’ve thrived, but always with fewer resources than some of our peer institutions — instead, fueled by the unlimited creativity, passion and hard work of every Tulanian. But recently, Tulane reached its tip-ping point. We began working to take Tulane to the next level. And we began building the Tulane of tomorrow.

In December, we launched “Only the Audacious, The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane.” The campaign is the most ambitious fundraising endeavor in university history, with a goal of raising $1.3 billion.

This is the destiny we must achieve: not just to recapture the spirit of what makes us “us” — but to double down, ignite our passions and usher in a new era of world-changing research.

I imagine a Tulane where our students have unfettered academic freedom and unlimited potential to explore. I imagine a Tulane where we don’t just seek to provide a 21st-century education — but a Tulane where we’ve already started to prepare for the 22nd.

In the past three years, we’ve watched our U.S. News ranking shoot up 14 points — the largest increase of any university in the  top 100.

And we’ve watched our admissions numbers rise year after year — this past cycle, Tulane received over 35,000 applications — the most submitted applications in Tulane’s history.

As a result, our newest first-year class is the most competitive and diverse in Tulane’s history. To give you a sense of their qualifications: Their average SAT score is 1449, which is a 48-point increase over the last three years.

I’ve spent my entire life working in different universities. But Tulane is a different breed altogether.

What I love about Tulane is its collective heart … and passion … and resilience … and courage … and ambition. Most of all, I love how Tulane is unbound by some of the limiting academic ideas of the past.

As a result, Tulane has become a vital hub of collaboration and innovation. We break barriers and cross boundaries. Tulane has always stood at this intersection of innovation and practical research.

Last year, we opened the ByWater Institute on the banks of the Mississippi River, where our students and researchers are tackling vital questions like energy production, climate change and coastal erosion.

At the Brain Institute, Tulanians are exploring the mysteries of the brain, joining forces from across diverse fields like physics, neurology and public health.

Students in Makerspace have access to cut-ting-edge creative technology like 3-D printers, laser engravers and design software—learning hands-on with the tools of the future.

The campaign is about turning these three examples into 3,000.

We can make this dream a reality. If we want to take Tulane to the next level, we’re going to need more support now than we’ve ever had before.

Look how far we’ve come in just the last three years.

Think of what we can do in the next 30.

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