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A Special View From Gibson - Looking Back, Moving Forward

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Dear Tulane Community:

On Friday we will welcome more than 1,700 first-year students to Tulane as they move into their campus residences. What an exciting time of expectation and eagerness, of adventure and promise.

Whether you are an incoming freshman or a seasoned graduate or professional student, this academic year will be an extraordinary one. We are seeking to expand pedagogical choices everywhere, including enhanced TIDES classes and new opportunities to study entrepreneurship, social innovation and design thinking. There are also expanded public service options and a chance to research, explore and solve societal problems across academic disciplines. I will have much more to report on this bold academic vision in the next View from Gibson, as we move forward to implement the thoughtful recommendations of the undergraduate and graduate task forces.

But even as excitement builds with the arrival of a new semester and a new beginning, this is also a time for reflection and remembrance. For next week also marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The video below is just a small part of the exhibition "Katrina and Beyond: Looking Back, Moving Forward" that will be on view Aug. 20 to Nov. 8 in the James Lounge on the first floor of the Lavin-Bernick Center.

The pages, videos, photographs and words of this multimedia exhibit tell the story of the recovery and renewal of Tulane and New Orleans and the role so many of our faculty, students and staff played in these unforgettable events. It is a story that lies closest to our hearts, yet is known around the world. It is a story of tragedy and triumph, of horror and hope. It is a story that first attracted me to Tulane and, to this day, keeps me in awe of this incredible place and its amazing, resilient people.

Signature of Mike Fitts