The Final Dream

Dear Tulane Community:

This week I was telling some students, who were in the midst of final exams, that I still have a dream in which I am a college student facing a final I have not prepared for at all. I am not sure whether my story comforted the students, scared them or just made them study harder.

But when exams end tomorrow, being unprepared for a final is one scenario nearly 3,000 of our students will not have to worry about even in their wildest dreams. For these students, this semester's finals are the last hurdle to May 16 when they will receive that coveted Tulane diploma to the cheers of thousands of their family, friends and colleagues.

While we are busy preparing for all the excitement of Commencement 2015, we are also keeping an eye on our new first-year class that will join the Tulane family in August. The Class of 2019 looks to be one of our largest ever, and our sixth straight to top 1,600 students. The percentage of male students has increased over last year, and we are on track to enroll more students of color and more international students, as well.

Our new class will include students representing 47 states from New York to Hawaii and 28 foreign countries. The academic profile of our new class promises to be the best ever, which is not surprising given that 60 percent of our new students graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

As one class is poised to graduate and the other to matriculate, it is a good time to reflect on the power of higher education. Both our new class and our graduating class will soon experience that power to transform their own lives and the lives of others. Both classes will also learn that while the dream about not being prepared for finals does not come true, every other dream can.