Dear Tulane Community,
I just had to write to express my gratitude and awe once again. Yesterday's inauguration was one of the most memorable experiences of my life and a perfect expression of the love, dedication and ambition you have for Tulane.
Besides our wonderful students, faculty and staff, we also hosted Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Sen. David Vitter, the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University presidents and nearly 100 representatives from universities around the country.
Tulane was showcased in a special way for our guests, through a series of open houses at some of our major centers and exhibition spaces. All of our guests and visitors were blown away by what they experienced. They learned how scholars and researchers from different fields are working together at Tulane to solve local and global problems. They saw students being prepared to lead in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. They witnessed a deepened connection between academics and Tulane's long tradition of public service. They saw an academic community on the rise – a university and campus bursting forth with the promise of spring.
I want to thank the inauguration planning committee and its chairs, Dusty Porter, vice president of student affairs and dean of students, and Ken Schwartz, dean of the School of Architecture, for their efforts in making this extraordinary day possible.
I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make everything work so beautifully – the ones who arranged for the food, the wonderful music, the second line handkerchiefs, the procession and all the other million details. I especially want to thank the person who got my face on what seemed like a billion plastic cups. Is that what they call a mug shot? My family will have fun with those for years to come, believe me.