Dear Tulane Community:
What an immensely challenging year this has been for our nation and the entire Tulane community. That’s why I’d like to take a moment and acknowledge the sacrifice, hard work and commitment of our Tulane community during these past months. Your efforts have brought us to this point – less than a month away from the completion of an in-person semester many thought would never happen. Our response to COVID-19 could serve as a model for others throughout our region and nation, and our recovery from Hurricane Zeta was truly magnificent. If this sounds like I am bragging, it’s because I am. I’m bragging about you.
This has been a year like no other, but we also have a community like no other to meet its unprecedented challenges. Your dedication has allowed us to continue our mission to educate, to discover and to serve, while also helping to protect both Tulanians and city residents from the spread of COVID-19.
That said, I am sure you are looking forward to the coming winter recess more than ever. No matter what form the holidays will take this year, in terms of gatherings and other traditions, we all deserve a respite – a time to relax and recharge.
As a small gesture of thanks for the tremendous amount of work our faculty and staff have undertaken during this trying time, we've added three additional winter recess days: Dec. 21-23. This means that the university will close for a full two weeks — Dec. 21 through Jan. 3. View the updated 2020/2021 Holiday Schedule.
While we are all looking forward to the holiday break, we know we have a lot more work to do to bring this semester to a successful close, including finals to take, classes to teach, tests to grade, research projects to continue and more. One additional endeavor I hope you will complete is nominating a deserving university employee or team for a President's Staff Excellence Award. These annual awards provide special recognition to employees who are so integral to what we do, but who work behind the scenes, often unnoticed and unheralded, in their unstinting commitment to the university. They are truly the best of the best.
In a typical year, we present 10 individual awards and two team/departmental awards. In recognition of the many individuals and teams who have done the extraordinary in an anything-but-ordinary-year, we will give many more awards. To nominate an individual or team who you believe deserves special recognition, please click here.
Providing this recognition of staff members, as well as presenting the annual Teaching Awards in the spring, are truly among my highest honors and joys as president. They are also another means for me to convey how confident, hopeful and thankful I am that Tulane’s present and future are entrusted to you.