Starting with a Dream

Dear Tulane Community:

Before classes begin next week and we embark on an exciting new semester, we will pause on Monday to honor the life, legacy and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on what would have been his 89th birthday. I can think of no better way to honor his courage and vision than to join our colleagues at Delgado Community College, Loyola University and the University of New Orleans on Jan. 20 for a day of service and reflection. Sign up here to be a part of this special day. UPDATE 1/19/18: This event has been cancelled.

It is not enough to honor Dr. King with words. We at Tulane must make his dream a reality. We must work harder to make our student body reflect the nation in which we live, to find the best and brightest from all races, ethnicities and backgrounds and make them feel welcomed and supported. The first-year class is our most diverse yet, but we have a way to go to achieve our own dreams of a truly diverse and inclusive academic community.

It is also not enough to bring students of color and first-generation students to Tulane. We must support them and create a community worthy of their promise and potential. The Center for Academic Equity has done an extraordinary job in a short time to make that possible, ensuring that small hurdles do not derail the bright futures of any of our students.  

Provost Robin Forman has worked with our deans and search committees across the university to ensure that we recruit the most innovative faculty from all over the world. The faculty who joined us this fall are the most diverse in Tulane's history, and their work and example will add to Tulane's excellence.  

We have a long way to go and more money to raise in order for scholarships and opportunities to expand for all at Tulane. But I want to take this moment to thank every student, faculty member, staff member, board member and alumnus who has served on the Presidential Commission on Race and Tulane Values. They help us make our commitments a reality and continue to rack up accomplishments that make Tulane better. I hope you'll take some time to read those here.

Dr King's moral genius was to call us each to be our best selves, to summon us to live by our common values. We honor Dr. King in how we treat each other every day and how we live our principles. I will never stop feeling unworthy of his example, but I will never stop trying to live up to it.