Dear Tulane Community:
Happy Commencement Eve! The stage is set, the speeches are prepared, the band is tuned, the programs are printed and the Tulane community is eagerly anticipating the opportunity to honor the Class of 2022 at tomorrow’s Unified Commencement. The nearly 4,000 graduates we will celebrate on Saturday represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 57 countries from around the world. They also exemplify the best of their generation and the brightest hope for a better tomorrow.
These graduates are living proof that only by leaning in and facing all of life’s challenges and disruptions can one grow, learn, innovate and make a difference. This extraordinary group of students refused to let anything deter them. Neither the first global pandemic in a century nor the state’s second most damaging hurricane could stop the Class of 2022 from embracing a full, transformative educational experience and achieving their dreams. This can-do attitude bodes well for their future – and ours.
Four individuals, who have made major contributions in fields ranging from sports and entertainment to national defense and artificial intelligence, will help salute our graduates at Commencement, while receiving honorary degrees. These include Henry “Hank” Aaron, one of baseball’s greatest players, who will receive Tulane’s first posthumous degree; Gen. David H. Berger, a Tulane graduate and commandant of the United States Marine Corps; Ken Jeong, an actor, producer, writer and doctor, who will deliver this year’s keynote address; and Dr. Rosalind Picard, an inventor, engineer, scientist and pioneer in artificial intelligence. Dr. Picard was unable to travel to Commencement due to illness but will receive her honorary degree at a later date.
We will also hear an inspiring address from student speaker Russell J. Ledet, Ph.D., who is graduating with an MD and an MBA. Russell is a Navy veteran and co-founder of The 15 White Coats, which helps propel underrepresented minority students to the next level of education by providing them role models and economic support.
There will also be live New Orleans jazz, second lining, Mardi Gras beads and more. It will be a day of inspiration, joy, laughter (Dr. Ken promises that) and triumph. It will be a celebration of a class like none other, in a year like none other and in a city like none other. Join us in person, online and in spirit.
Roll 2022 Graduates and Roll Wave!