Honoring the Best of the Best

Dear Tulane Community:

Tulane alumni have won Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards. They have made some of the most popular films, television shows and musicals of our time. They have been leaders in business, medicine, the arts, professional sports and religion. They have served as mayors, governors, senators, speakers of the House, surgeon generals, White House cabinet members, chiefs of staff and heads of state, including Luis Guillermo Solís, the president of Costa Rica, who I recently had the honor of meeting.

So when we say we are going to give special recognition to some extraordinary Tulane alumni, you know we are are truly talking about the best of the best. To see for yourself, join us at the Tulane Alumni Association's 2015 Tulane Alumni Awards Gala April 18 at the U.S. Freedom Pavilion in the National WWII Museum.

Now, channeling my inner Oscars host voice, I would like to announce this year’s honorees:

Dermot McGlinchey Lifetime Achievement Award

Louis M. Freeman, B ’63, a well-known philanthropist who has received every honor from the Loving Cup, presented by The Times-Picayune, to the Benemerenti Medal awarded by Pope John Paul II.

Richard W. Freeman Jr., B ‘60, a civic leader in the Freeman family tradition who has served on the boards of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Bureau of Governmental Research, the Metropolitan New Orleans Safety Council, Ochsner Clinic Foundation and Ochsner Community Hospitals.

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Col. Douglas G. Hurley, USMC, Ret., E ’88, an astronaut who piloted the final U.S. space shuttle mission and received the NASA Superior Accomplishment Award in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Professional Achievement Award

Marsha S. Firestone, PhD, NC ’65, founder and president of the Women Presidents’ Organization and the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization.

Scott Cowen Service Award

Anthony “Tony” Recasner, PhD, E ’86, E ’88, recognized by President George W. Bush as an "American Hero" for his contributions to the charter school movement and his role in reshaping public education in New Orleans.

Robert V. Tessaro Young Alumnus Volunteer Award

Edward J. Crawford IV, B ’08, B ’08, LA ’08, a Peace Corps veteran and founder of the Freeman 50, the business school's young MBA alumni advisory board.

And the winner is…Tulane!

I promise this will be a memorable evening honoring a special group of Tulanians for their service, dedication and friendship to Tulane. I hope to see you there.