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Hosting Our President

Friday, March 31, 2017

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Dear Tulane Community,

I like to tell Tulane students that they can achieve anything, including being elected president. Of course, with students from 58 countries and all 50 states attending Tulane, I don't specify which country. But a real-life example of such a dream coming true will arrive on campus today. Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera will return to Tulane, where he earned a master's degree in Latin American Studies in 1981. 

President Solís will meet with our students and share how his experience in one of the country's top Latin American Studies programs prepared him for public service and eventually the presidency. He will discuss how his Tulane education was crucial in becoming a global leader in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world. His is the type of leadership we seek to instill in every Tulane graduate – how to work across disciplines and apply the full range of human knowledge (from the hard sciences to the arts) to find solutions to global problems. 

In 2015, I took a trip to meet President Solís and our other Tulane alumni in Costa Rica. I could tell right away that he was a Tulanian, someone who looks at problems from every angle and works to solve them. I know it was the approach he took when teaching his own students at CIAPA, the Tulane-affiliated campus in Costa Rica.

We have a long and wonderful history of partnering with CIAPA and numerous other initiatives in Costa Rica, and indeed all of Latin America. These initiatives include shared research projects, teaching, cultural exchanges and more. I hope to deepen and expand these connections when I meet with President Solís today, face-to-face, teacher-to-teacher, Tulanian-to-Tulanian, friend-to-friend.