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The Academic Year that Was

Friday, May 24, 2019

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Dear Tulane Community:
 
Wow, Wow and WOW! I can’t remember a more spectacular Commencement, a more amazing graduating class or a more extraordinary academic year.
 
Major media outlets such as ABC News, CNN, NBC News, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and many more included last Saturday’s Commencement in their coverage. This shone a well-deserved light on our distinguished speakers, honorees and, most importantly, our graduates.
 
Commencement 2019 also capped off an award-winning academic year. I mean that quite literally. Here are a few examples: A Tulane sophomore won an Academy Award, a law student and an MBA student won the top prize at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, a longtime faculty member won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and a Tulane graduate was nominated to be the 38th Marine Corps commandant. These are just a few of the many, many Tulanian achievements that made 2018-19 so memorable. 
 
But the real winners of this academic year were the local and world-wide community Tulane is committed to serving. Through our research and our transformative learning experience, we continued the Tulane tradition of national leadership in community engagement and global impact.  
 
In the upcoming year, we will expand this role in improving lives around the corner and around the world. We will pursue plans to be the anchor institution in the Charity Hospital redevelopment, filling 300,000 square feet of it with labs, classrooms, student housing and collaborative spaces that promise to revitalize the downtown area while powering discoveries that can change the world. 
 
Through Only the Audacious: The campaign for an ever bolder Tulane, we will continue to fund the latest research, build an environment that supports excellence and increase scholarships in order to attract the brightest students. This includes the first-year class we will welcome to campus in August – our most diverse and academically qualified ever.
 
In just a few months we will also open The Commons, a 77,000 square-foot marvel in the heart of the uptown campus that will feature a state-of-the-art dining facility, the Newcomb College Institute and other student services under one roof. The Commons will combine academics, research, inquiry and, in true New Orleans style, great food!
 
Summer used to be a somewhat somnolent time here at Tulane but now with all the activity mentioned above and our increased summer sessions, pre-college summer programs and more, we seem to be as busy as ever.
 
Still, I hope you will find some time to get away, unplug and recharge this summer. The View from Gibson will take a bit of a summer break, too, appearing in your inbox only for major news or announcements – which will probably come sooner than you think.
 
In the meantime, have a great summer.

Signature of Mike Fitts