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A gift for our faculty

Friday, February 26, 2016

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Dear Tulane Community:

From exciting research opportunities and TIDES courses for first-year students to cooking classes for medical students, Tulane is renowned for faculty and academic innovation. Now, thanks to a $5 million gift from the Carol Lavin Bernick Family Foundation, our faculty will receive even greater support for innovation in teaching and research, multi-disciplinary efforts, and other initiatives critical to their mission and professional development.

You know the Lavin Bernick name, of course, from the beloved Center for University Life in the heart of our uptown campus. While the LBC is dedicated to student life, this new gift will support another treasured university asset—our award-winning, world-class faculty.

Carol's gift will provide the financial support to unleash the creative spirit of our faculty and spur collaboration across disciplines between scholars and researchers from different fields. Carol knows a bit about creativity and collaboration herself, by the way, as the genius behind such best-selling products as Mrs. Dash and Static Guard, which she created during her time as executive chairman of Alberto-Culver, makers of Alberto VO5, Noxema and other iconic brands.

This latest gift from Carol, a longtime university supporter and board member, arrives at a perfect time as we lay the groundwork for the launch of the largest capital campaign in Tulane's history. In fact, in the letter Carol sent informing me of her gift she emphasized that it is meant to encourage others to support our university and especially our faculty.

The Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Investment Fund will provide individual full-time faculty members with grants of up to $15,000 for the best innovations in teaching, research and cross-disciplinary projects. The fund will also support faculty development, continuing education and student engagement.

This is the second gift of this size that Tulane has received in recent weeks. On Jan. 29, we announced a $5 million gift from David Mussafer and his wife Marion to turn the former home of the School of Social Work into Mussafer Hall, a transformative space that will unite career programming, academic advising and success services for our students.

Such generous, committed support for our faculty and students, is the perfect start to a year of innovation. I look forward to great things from our faculty and the students they inspire in the months and years ahead.

Signature of Mike Fitts