‘Say Yes ... And ...’ Commencement 2015.
Brain Signals Tulane researchers discover the brain and who we are.
Shakespeare’s precious plays First Folio exhibit on tap for next spring.
pitchman Peter Ricchiuti leads hunt for ‘stocks under rocks.’
THE MAGAZINE OF TULANE UNIVERSITY
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Majestic call to order Herald trumpeters signal the start of the academic procession at Tulane Commencement in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on May 16, 2015.
Cover illustration of the brain by Stephanie Dalton Cowan.
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L E T T E R
P R E S I D E N T ’ S
Listen Up by Mike Fitts The following is an excerpt of the commencement address delivered by President Mike Fitts at the first Tulane graduation ceremony over which he presided on May 16, 2015. As you venture onward from here, my advice is to keep listening. You may think that you already know the importance of listening. After all, you wouldn’t be here today if you hadn’t fine-tuned the art by mastering the lectures of Tulane’s remarkable faculty. But the importance of listening doesn’t end once you leave the classroom. Indeed, it is one of the most powerful tools you will have as you build your lives after Tulane. There are three fundamental reasons. First, we live in an era of information overload. Listening skills help you cut through the clutter to find meaning. Second, we live in a society of increasing polarization. Listening makes you a bridge-builder, and in turn can make you a more effective leader. And third, we navigate the world through our personal interactions. Listening has always been at the core of strong relationships. Obviously, we are all living in an amazing moment in history. The explosion in platforms spreading new information and ideas has made this the best time for taking in knowledge. But our fast-paced, technology-saturated world can overwhelm us. We may be able to hear more, but we are listening less. Today’s information overload also makes it easier to access only the information we agree with. We filter out views unlike our own. Count on the political arena to provide a telling example. Members of the Democratic and Republican parties have always disagreed on a number of issues. But now they disdain one another. Recent studies at Stanford have shown that almost half of the members of each party now view members of the other as less intelligent and more selfish than themselves. And up to half even say they don’t want their children marrying members of the other party. So we’re struggling to get engaged in more ways than one. That is one reason you so often find great leaders—those who can transcend divisions to achieve common goals—described as great listeners.
pay attention Listening is a skill to continue sharpening.
Listening might sound like a passive activity, but, in fact, it’s one of the most powerful means of participation. Psychologists have even found that the great listeners are more effective leaders than great talkers. My last, and most personal, observation is the importance of listening to members of your family and others closest to you. They’re the ones who often give you the most candid insights on the world. Pay special attention to listening across generations. Perhaps my most formative conversations were with my own mother when I was growing up—and my two daughters years later—on many of the same topics. My mother was born in the early part of the 20th century and initially pursued a career as an economist at the Federal Reserve. However, as was expected of women in her generation, she ultimately left that path to raise a family. In retrospect, I realize she struggled with this decision, given her 1960s commitment to social change. I recall dinner table discussions with her about her aspirations, which, as a young male, I didn’t fully understand. Years later, these same themes emerged in conversations with my own daughters. They are building careers in a completely different world but still face a work environment that is not entirely supportive of personal aspirations. I now see how listening to generations of women in my family has taught me to be a more thoughtful manager. When these conversations repeat at millions of dinner tables, society advances. I can say with great confidence that Tulane has sharpened your ability to listen. As students here, you have lived in a resilient and culturally vibrant city, pressing you close to people with different backgrounds, experiences, social classes and races. As graduates of Tulane—the university with the greatest commitment to service— you are tuned in to recognizing the needs of others. This graduating class performed well over half a million public service hours. Our graduates today listened to the children of New Orleans, discovering what would inspire them to thrive. They listened to nonprofit groups to understand their greatest needs. They listened to each other to organize a thousand classmates in service projects. It fills me with optimism to know you are, as a result of your education and this social involvement, the world’s next great leaders. So, do not lose your curiosity, your empathy and, most of all, your power to listen.
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TUlane C O N T E N T S Early Brain Work Andrew Schally, left, a Tulane professor and precursor of the brain researchers at the university today, receives a Nobel Prize from Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf in Stockholm on Dec. 10, 1977.
2 PRESIDENT’S LETTER Listen well
Maya Rudolph offers graduates at Commencement 2015 words of advice that she learned in acting school: Be open to building on others’ ideas. By Mary Ann Travis
6 NEWs Test for Ebola virus • Leader of innovation and design • In That Number • Who Dat? Bobby Duhon • Superstitious thinking • Lessons of BP oil spill • Mahalia Jackson’s influence • Plants adapt and clean up oil • 1880s atlas of New Orleans • Jessmyn Ward
13 SPORTS Ultimate Frisbee • Upswing in tennis
‘Say yes ... and ...’
The mysteries of the brain lead Tulane researchers down paths of discovery. By Mary Ann Travis
Shakespeare’s Precious Plays The First Folio—a rare collection of William Shakespeare’s plays—is on its way to Tulane in a first-ever tour of the United States. By Mary Sparacello
30 TULANIANS Josh Klinefelter • Alumni connect • Jarrod Beck • Zachary Richard • Awards 31 WHERE Y'AT! Class notes 35 FAREWELL Tribute: Robert Tessaro
Pitchman Peter Ricchiuti, the driving force behind Burkenroad Reports of the A. B. Freeman School of Business, finds great joy in financial markets—and the game of baseball. By Carol J. Schlueter
38 WAVEMAKERS Lepage gift• Paul Tulane Society 40 NEW ORLEANS Dufour and Chase
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multiple platforms Jane Turner (NC ’84, SW ’90) of Largo, Florida, writes that she “truly enjoys” the digital format of Tulane. Don’t forget there’s an app (TulaneMags) for the iPad as well as an Android version. The magazine can be viewed online at Tulane. edu/tulanian/index.cfm. The digital versions have additional content like Maya Rudolph singing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at commencement.
y e a h,
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FOOTBALL GOOD TIMES As a freshman medical student (first year medicine, then, was at the uptown campus) on Saturday afternoon, I went to the anatomy lab to study, of course anatomy, but I didn’t know the anatomy professor’s rule of locking the lab on the Saturday afternoons that Tulane played football. The anatomy prof (Dr. Reed—good prof ) came that afternoon and announced to me and the other students to go to the football game at Tulane Stadium because he was locking the lab until the game was over—so what do I do? Tulane’s football that year had not been too strong, and incidentally Tulane was playing that afternoon unbeaten Navy, so that didn’t bode well for Tulane. So with the anatomy lab closed I decided to go by my apartment on Pine Street, pick up my wife and go to the game. I thought about sitting through another Tulane defeat but as things turned out Tulane defeated Navy (and when Navy went to the Army/ Navy game, it was announced that Navy entered that game only beaten by Tulane.) I was so proud of the Green Wave that day! That would have been the fall of 1955. Dr. Richard D. Welch, M ’59 Brookings, Oregon Editor’s note: Dr. Welch purchased a brick as part of the Glazer Family Brick Drive at Yulman Stadium (tulanegreenwave.com/bricks). He requested these lines be inscribed: “Go Green Wave Beat Navy.” Richard D. Welch, M.D. (Class M ’59); J.B. Pollard, M.D. (Class M ’59) and Michael Ellis, M.D. (Class M ’59). MORE ABOUT SAM ZEMURRAY I would like to express some thoughts on the … article [“Gateway to the Americas”] in the March 2015 magazine, and specifically regarding Samuel Zemurray. First, he was able to make his monetary contributions because of the wealth he acquired
w r i t e as Chairman of United Fruit. I mention this as an observation and not a judgment, but it certainly is a major factor of his life. Secondly, you did not mention that Sam was a committed Jew, and was instrumental in providing indispensable assistance to Israel at the time of independence. I am sure you are familiar with The Fish That Ate the Whale, by Tulane alumnus Rich Cohen. For the record, I was a Latin American history major at Tulane, when Dr. Karnes was in the department. Martin S. Weinstein, A&S ’64 San Jose, California CUBA REVISITED Thank you for your “Gateway to the Americas” article on page 15 of Volume 86 [Tulane, March 2015]. However I was disturbed to read the “Changing Cuba” insert on page 19. The tone and content seem to imply that Cuba is entering a great new phase of liberation, freedom and fulfillment. I see nowhere mentioned that Cuba has been, and is still a gulag prison for several million people who are forced to live in abject poverty and constant fear for their freedom and very lives under a sick fascist communist regime who will now proceed to steal all the new money entering the country from America. … Although greater involvement by the exceptional people of the United States will necessarily have beneficial effects on the Cuban society, a torture prison cell with a gold-plated toilet remains a torture prison cell. … P.S. It is ironic that the insert is entitled “A Changing Cuba,” but the picture shows a sixtyyear-old car, which is the norm on the streets of Havana. Thomas G. Robbins, L ’92, ’97 Metairie, Louisiana Who Dat? An interesting fact about [the photo of actors, Richard “Dick” Rudolph and Robert Brown, in the 1967 performance of the play, Private Ear/Public Eye, in the March 2015 Tulane]: This production was an MFA Thesis
for Luis Q. Barroso. … Dick was not a theater student. Luis saw him on campus and asked him to be in the show. Dick was (apparently) concerned because he said he was not an actor, but Luis knew he would be good in the role. Charlie Hayes, G ’05 New Orleans Editor’s note: Richard Rudolph (A&S ’68) is the father of Commencement 2015 speaker Maya Rudolph. See page 14 for a story about this year’s commencement.
PILOTS N PAWS I am the mother of a Tulane grad (’09) and a dog lover also. I wanted to comment on the “Puppy Rescue” letter in the March 2015 magazine. Please let Peter Zheutlin (author of a book about Southern rescue dogs), Adam Kline (TUSTEP Founder), and all dog lovers at Tulane know about a program available to help all loving and adoptable dogs. Pilots N Paws, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is a website that connects those trying to save animals to pilots who are willing to fly them to vet hospitals and/or loving pet rescues and fosters throughout the United States for free. They have facilitated over 70,000 animal rescues in all 50 states since they began. Many dogs from high-kill areas like Louisiana are flown to furever homes in the North. Whether you’re a pilot who wants to get involved or a shelter or dog rescue who wants to save a life, I urge you to check out this networking site: PilotsNPaws.org. Pam Goode, Parent Owings Mills, Maryland
PRONUNCIATION? So it [“Native Tongue,” December 2014] got me to thinking… is it Tú lane, or Tu LANE? I think the former, but maybe I’m thinking too much. Dr. David Lubin, A&S ’69, M ’74 Tampa, Florida Editor’s Note: Readers, what do you think? How do you pronounce Tulane? First Math PhD Born in Switzerland, Florian Cajori was the first mathematics PhD at Tulane (1894). He was at Colorado College from 1889 to 1918. He was one of the founders (in 1915) and the second president (1917) of the MAA (Mathematical Association of America). He was responsible for originating the study of the history of mathematics in North America and had a very distinguished career in this field, evidenced by his many groundbreaking books and papers. After leaving Colorado College in 1918 he went on to University of California– Berkeley, where he assumed an academic chair created especially for him in the History of Mathematics. He held this post until his death in 1930. [At Colorado College] we named a room the “Florian Cajori Classroom” that was his classroom from 1904 (when the building was built) until 1918. It is one of the longest continuously dedicated mathematics classrooms west of the Mississippi River. It is still used only as a mathematics classroom today. … I am a 1988 PhD in mathematics from Tulane. My adviser was Laszlo Fuchs. I organized a conference at Tulane in the Fall of 2014 honoring the work of Prof. Fuchs on the occasion of his 90th birthday. I am currently Professor of Mathematics and Associate Dean of the Faculty at Colorado College, where I’ve been on the faculty since 1988. Mike Siddoway, G ’88 Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Letter From The Editor
Editor Mary Ann Travis
creative Director Melinda Whatley Viles “Tulanians” Editor Fran Simon Contributors Keith Brannon Barri Bronston Hannah Dean Catherine Freshley, ’09 Alicia Duplessis Jasmin Angus Lind, A&S ’66 Mary-Elizabeth Lough Mark Miester, A&S ’90, B ’09 Benton Oliver, ’15 Ryan Rivet, UC ’02 Greg Thomson, ’15 paula burch-celentano
senior University Photographer Paula Burch-Celentano senior Production Coordinator Sharon Freeman
DINING (AND LEARNING) WITH FRIENDS Samantha Rosen (’15) received a Bachelor of Science in Management from the A. B. Freeman School of Business this May. She’s on her way back to her home state of New York to pursue a career in marketing. Before she left town, Samantha blogged a “thank you” note to Tulane on “Her Campus.” It pretty much sums up what many Tulane graduates feel. Here’s some of what she wrote: “I owe you a thank you. You see, I was a different person until I came here. I never understood what it meant to truly have a place, a city or a culture become a part of you. I didn’t get how you could actually be proud of the place you live in, and how every time you left, you would feel a little incomplete— like a switch went off in your soul and the world would become just a little less colorful. “Thank you for teaching me, above all, that life is meant to be celebrated. “For forcing me out of my comfort zone, whether that meant actually trying (and growing to like) spicy food, or
sending me halfway across the world to explore foreign countries for four months. “For providing me with endless concerts and shows to go see, jamming out with my best friends all night—there is no better feeling. “For opening up again after Katrina, coming back stronger than ever, and having a positive impact on so many people. I wouldn’t have met my closest friends if it weren’t for that. “For seamlessly integrating yourself with the most incredible, beautiful, crazy city on this planet—I can’t imagine a more perfect place to have gone to college. “When they told me how lucky I was to be going to school in New Orleans, I nodded and agreed, but didn’t get it. When they said this city will change you, I didn’t get it. When they said these would be the best four years of my life, I didn’t get it. “But now, I get it. So thank you for taking me in, stirring up the pot of gumbo, and giving me the confidence to go out and enjoy life. I see the world differently because of you.” —MARY ANN TRAVIS
Graphic DesignerS Tracey Bellina-Milazzo Marian Herbert-Bruno
ipad and Android versions of tulane are available.
President of the University Michael A. Fitts Vice President FOR University Communications Deborah L. Grant, PHTM ’86 Executive Director of editorial and Creative services Carol J. Schlueter, B ’99 Tulane (ISSN 21619255) is a quarterly magazine published by the Tulane Office of Editorial and Creative Services, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624. Periodical postage at New Orleans, LA 70113 and additional mailing offices. Send editorial correspondence to the above address or email email@example.com. Opinions expressed in Tulane are not necessarily those of Tulane representatives and do not necessarily reflect university policies. Material may be reprinted only with permission. Tulane University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Tulane, Tulane Office of Editorial and Creative Services, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624. june 2015/Vol. 86, No. 4
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MARDI GRAS EPISODE The Tulane Marching Band performed in a segment of the popular CBS show, “NCIS: New Orleans.” The band staged a performance for the cameras for the series’ Carnival episode, which first aired on Mardi Gras, Feb. 17, 2015.
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Rapid Ebola Test
A new test developed by Tulane researchers and approved by the FDA allows for quick and accurate diagnosis of the Ebola virus to help prevent future outbreaks of the disease.
INNOVATIVE ADMINISTRATOR Kenneth Schwartz, dean of the Tulane School of Architecture, is the founding director of the Phyllis Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking and the first holder of the Sacks Endowed Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship. Paula Burch-Celentano
Tulane researchers played a key role in developing a new rapid Ebola test, which the Food and Drug Administration authorized in February for emergency use in West Africa. Instead of taking days for lab results, the new test, which is pro duced by Corgenix Medical Corp., uses a drop of blood from a finger prick to deliver a diagnosis in as little as 15 minutes, allowing public health workers to isolate and treat patients immediately. Getting a fast, accurate diagnosis is crucial in stopping the spread of the virus as initial symptoms of Ebola mimic other common infectious diseases. “This has the potential to be a game changer,” said Robert Garry, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Tulane School of Medicine. “Medical personnel will be able to quickly identify hotspots and potentially prevent a resurgence of new cases. Proper deployment of the test can ensure that future Ebola outbreaks are contained before they reach the scale of the current outbreak in West Africa.” Denver-based Corgenix is manufacturing and marketing the test, which is based on technology originally discovered at Tulane. “The rapid Ebola test is the result of more than a decade of work led by Dr. Garry who assembled a team of collaborators of tremendous breadth and depth to understand and combat viral hemorrhagic fevers in Africa,” said Dr. Laura Levy, Tulane vice president for research. “This technology illustrates Tulane’s long-standing commitment to bring cutting-edge research to solve the world’s most urgent problems.” With funding from the National Institutes of Health, Corgenix developed the test in cooperation with the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, a collaboration of academic and industry members led by Tulane. Partners included Autoimmune Technologies, Zalgen Labs, The Scripps Research Institute and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, as well as other collaborators in West Africa. —Keith Brannon
Kenneth Schwartz, dean of the Tulane Univer sity School of Architecture, has been named founding director of the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Think ing and the first Sacks Endowed Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship. Last November, Tulane President Michael Fitts and Board of Tulane member Phyllis Taylor announced the establishment of the center, which was made possible through a $15 million gift from the Patrick F. Taylor Foun dation. The center will bring together Tulane faculty, students and researchers from varied disciplines to work collaboratively on solving real-life problems in such areas as the environ ment, education and health care. The chair is being funded by the Michael Sacks Fund for Social Entrepreneurship and is named for Michael J. Sacks, a 1984 graduate of Tulane and a Distinguished Alumnus Award winner. Schwartz will serve as director of the center in addition to his role as architecture dean. For the past seven years, Schwartz has guided the school’s increasing community involve ment and focus on social issues, which mirror the philosophy of the Taylor Center. Among other endeavors, Schwartz has led the growth of Tulane City Center, a highly successful social entrepreneurship program, and three years ago, he introduced an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in social innovation and social entrepreneurship.—Barri Bronston
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In That Number Urban Landscape TREEs a crowd With trees an essential component of the urban landscape of Tulane, the Tree Advisory Committee is at the helm to ensure the well-being of campus arboriculture. Armed with a Tree Policy, Procedure and Plan outlining guidelines for construction procedures, maintenance and educational use, the group monitors and tracks the health of every tree on campus. In recognition of the university’s efforts protecting its trees, Tulane has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation annually since 2009.
The uptown campus is home to 263 live oaks, one of the most widely recognized species of tree in southern Louisiana. The branches of a mature live oak may grow twice as long as its trunk, growing laterally to reach the ground.
In the years following Hurricane Katrina from 2005–09, 185 new trees were planted on the uptown campus. These trees include crape myrtle, sweet bay magnolia, Chinese pistache and maple, among others.
There are more than 49 different species of trees growing on the uptown campus.
infographic by tracey bellina
In 1909, Newcomb College students ceremoniously planted several acorns taken from oak trees on the Washington Avenue campus. The seeds planted at the site of the new Broadway campus 106 years ago are known as the Newcomb Oaks.
It’s no wonder there are 220 crape myrtles on the uptown campus: It is the quintessential “Southern” tree. It blooms beautiful flowers in warm months and its fall change-of-color is also brilliant.
There are 111 bald cypress trees on the uptown campus. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the name “bald” cypress comes from the fact that these trees lose their leaves very early in the fall season.
A 2013 survey recorded 1,065 trees growing on the uptown campus. More trees are planted every year.
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Tulane University archives
Who Dat? Bobby Duhon
During his undergraduate years at Tulane in the 1960s, Bobby Duhon (’14) was a standout on both the football and baseball teams. As pictured here, he sometimes did not stop to change out of his baseball uniform before heading to football practice. The New York Giants selected the talented Duhon, a quarterback for the Green Wave, in the third round of the NFL draft in 1968. He left college a semester early to pursue his professional football career. After suffering multiple knee injuries, Duhon retired from the NFL following the 1972 season. But he remained in New York, and worked on Wall Street for over 30 years. Duhon lettered for the Green Wave in both football and baseball, and he is
a member of the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame. It wasn’t until December 2014, however, that he earned his degree from Tulane—a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the School of Continuing Studies. “I just tell people that I’m a slow learner,” said Duhon. “But 47 years later, I decided to come back and finish.” For his last class to complete his degree, Duhon enrolled in a course about post-traumatic stress disorder and other effects of war. The instructor had a familiar face. It was Lou Campomenosi, an adjunct faculty member, who happened to be a former football teammate of Duhon’s. “I still communicate with my teammates like it was yesterday,” said Duhon.
“I had a wonderful experience at Tulane, and it was very exciting to go from my little hometown of Abbeville (Louisiana) to the Big Easy.” No longer working on Wall Street, Duhon now lives in Atlanta. He has made several trips to New Orleans during the past two years to assist Tulane Athletics in raising money for the construction of Yulman Stadium. Duhon offered this piece of advice for current students and seniors approaching their graduation: “Few people make $100,000 right out of college, but they think they will. Find something you love and enjoy doing, and eventually the money will come.” —Greg Thomson
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NSF GRANT FOR BIOINNOVATION As part of a three-year effort to move technology-based research into the marketplace, the National Science Foundation has provided a $163,000 grant for a Tulane Innovation Corps Site for a Resurgent New Orleans, a project to further the growth of the city as a hub for careers in technology, energy and the environment.
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With a Bit of Luck If Friday the 13th finds you being a little more careful than usual, you’re likely one of the millions of Americans who consider themselves to be at least a little superstitious. Eric Hamerman, assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business, studies the impact of superstition on decision-making and his latest paper sheds new light on the situations in which individuals use superstitions most. People are more likely to turn to superstition when they’re interested in achieving a performance goal as opposed to a learning goal, he said. “Performance goals involve somebody else giving me approval whereas learning goals involve an internal sense of competence and mastery,” said Hamerman. “Only when looking for outside approval do we bring in outside sources, such as luck, to try to help ourselves.” An example of a performance goal would be a musician who practices in order to receive applause. If the musician were to practice solely for the satisfaction of mastering the piece of music, that would be a learning goal. Similarly, a student who studies to get an A has a performance goal whereas a student who studies to learn the material has a learning goal. While Hamerman’s research doesn’t address whether belief in superstition affects one’s performance, he said focusing on performance goals tends to make people feel less in control while focusing on learning goals tends to make people challenge and stretch themselves. “The lesson here is that we should really try to reframe those performance goals as learning goals,” Hamerman said. “If we focus on the process rather than the outcome … we’ll tend to focus on more rational solutions to become better achievers.” Hamerman’s paper “Reliance on Luck: Identifying Which Achievement Goals Elicit Superstitious Behavior,” co-authored with Carey Morewedge, will appear in an upcoming issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.—Mark Miester
Goal Oriented People tend to turn to superstitious rituals when they set out to achieve performance goals—and they feel not in control.
The Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy at Tulane has received $1.4 million from the BP Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative to collect new information about health, social wellbeing and economic impacts of the oil spill in hard-hit coastal communities in Louisiana and Alabama. Tulane’s research will provide guidance to community leaders and policymakers in identifying actions they can take to more effectively mitigate future similar disasters. To aid in the research, the Tulane Department of Computer Science is receiving an additional $480,000 to develop a cutting edge Web tool to help coordinate the display of information about the oil spill impacts. Tulane received the grant as part of the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities, which was formed to assess and address effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “With this funding, our faculty and students will work with consortium members to establish a clearer picture of the ways in which the oil spill affected the surrounding communities and develop evidence-based strategic planning and risk communication strategies for communities facing similar disasters in the future,” said Ky Luu, executive director of the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy. —B.B.
Disaster resilience Cody Fonseca in Lafourche, Louisiana, prepares for a day of crabbing. The Impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on fishermen and others in coastal communities is being analyzed to help mitigate the effects of future such disasters.
Environmental Protection Agency
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RIVER OF MEMORIES Law professor Oliver Houck’s new book,
Downstream Toward Home, is a collection of stories about his love affair with rivers. The 32 stories in the book chronicle Houck’s experiences on rivers dating back to the 1950s. Houck has fought for clean rivers and other bodies of water for more than 30 years.
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Courtesy of Hogan Jazz Archive, tulane university
Marsh Grass and Oil
Praise for Mahalia
Queen of Gospel
Singer and civil rights activist Mahalia Jackson’s influence continues in pop music today. She was born in New Orleans in 1911 and rose to international fame. She died near Chicago in 1972.
PLANTS CLEAN UP OIL SPILL Bacteria living within salt marsh cordgrass slowly break down oil, say Tulane researchers.
New Orleanian and gospel music great Mahalia Jackson died in 1972, but her impact on music continues today, according to speakers at a conference and concert, “Mahalia’s New Orleans,” at Tulane in March. Students, professors, community members and gospel music lovers came together to celebrate the life and legacy of the international gospel star. “Mahalia’s voice was phenomenally influential and is still often imitated in popular music,” said panel member Matt Sakakeeny, Tulane associate professor of music. Sakakeeny played several samples comparing Mahalia Jackson’s style to that of contemporary artists such as Adele and Sam Smith. Another panel member, the Rev. Dwight Webster of the Christian Unity Baptist Church, gave a brief history of gospel from its origins in slaves’ meeting houses to its connection to the civil rights movement. Webster emphasized gospel’s ability to galvanize people to resist through creative and powerful expression. He noted that “gospel is a genre, style and a movement.” Jerry Brock of local radio station WWOZ-FM built upon this theme by adding that as a gospel singer who grew up in a city as racially charged as New Orleans, Mahalia Jackson personified the idea of resistance through beauty in the local and national African-American community. Gospel music is a “dynamic form of group creativity” that emerged from community-based a cappella groups called jubilee quartets, said Joyce Jackson, an anthropologist at Louisiana State University. These groups were invited to churches to perform, and the union between musicians, churches and gospel’s communal nature created a foundation where Mahalia Jackson found her passion for singing gospel music. The concert in Dixon Hall featured singers Irma Thomas and Cynthia Girtley and Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band. —Hannah Dean
A team of Tulane biologists has found that oileating bacteria grew rapidly within salt marsh cordgrass following the 2010 Deepwater Hor izon oil spill. “This grass is the foundational plant in northern Gulf Coast salt marshes affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” says Sunshine Van Bael, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. The plants form a first line of defense against coastal erosion. In a study published in PLOS ONE, Van Bael and her colleagues, postdoctoral researcher Demetra Kandalepas and Michael Blum, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, focused on endophyte (fungi and bacteria) communities living symbiotically within these plants. Plants have been used for pollution cleanup for years and will be useful in the future, according to Van Bael. “You go to a polluted site and find the best plants to grow there to help clean up pollutants. Our goal is to figure out the best bacteria to partner with plants to enable them to increase the speed of oil remediation,” says Van Bael. The Tulane team collected plants from sites that had been oiled and from nearby areas without oil. “We found a big shift in the endophyte community in plants that grew up with oil,” says Van Bael. “The fungi normally found in leaves were nearly gone, and in the roots there was a shift toward more species of bacteria known for breaking down oil.”—B.B.
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Gallery Robinson Atlas purposes. He collected data about location, municipal street names and building materials in order to determine fire risk. Before its publication in 1883, the atlas was indexed to indicate construction materials, and street names were carefully added. After printing, the maps were hand-colored. For the restoration, the Southeastern Architectural Archive combined two damaged copies of the atlas to create a “Frankenstein version,” and then worked with the Preservation Department to deliver this version to the New Orleans Book and Paper Lab, where a conservator repaired it. Although the New Orleans Notarial Archive digitized its Robinson Atlas years ago, it did not include the index maps and key that provide critical content.
The digitized version was processed at low resolution and many street numbers are not legible, making it difficult to track down locations. Rylance and Peterson eventually would like to add the Robinson Atlas (its complete name is Atlas of the City of New Orleans, Louisiana, based upon surveys furnished by John F. Braun, surveyor and architect) to the Tulane Digital Library, so researchers can more easily access it. The Southeastern Architectural Archive and the Preservation Depart ment are now starting to restore an even older fire atlas. All this effort is part of the work they do maintaining the holdings—one million architectural drawings and 250,000 photos—in the Southeastern Architectural Archive. —Hannah Dean
The Southeastern Architectural Archive and the Tulane University Libraries Preservation Department have completed a restoration of the Robinson Atlas, an important piece of historic record with its precise mapping of 1880s’ New Orleans. Keli Rylance, head of the Southeastern Architectural Archive, and Annie Peterson, the university’s preservation librarian, anticipate that “researchers from various departments within and outside Tulane will find the restored atlas helpful in future projects.” For example, Rylance anticipates that the atlas might be useful to jazz scholars tracking down an early music club or genealogists looking for family homes. Architect and surveyor John Braun created the original atlas for fire insurance
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Interview Jessmyn Ward Jesmyn Ward is the 2011 National Book Award winner for her novel Salvage the Bones. A native of DeLisle, Mississippi, she is the recipient of the first Paul and Debra Gibbons Professorship at Tulane. In addition to teaching in the Department of English, she works closely with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South and the Newcomb College Institute. Have you always known you wanted to be a writer? When I attended college as an undergrad, I felt a great amount of pressure to attain a degree in some professional, lucrative field. That pressure, combined with the fact that I doubted I had any talent, meant that I didn’t study much creative writing in college. My brother died the year that I graduated, and suddenly all those concerns I’d had before he died were unimportant. His death made me realize life was not something promised to me, so since I had to live it, I’d better get busy doing something that would make that life worth living. That was writing for me.
Your writing deals with traumatic themes. How much do you use writing as a cathartic process? I guess that writing is cathartic in some respects. It’s allowed me to sit closely with events in my life, to observe them and live them again, and in doing so, it allows me to understand how I and others lived through and reacted to those events. But writing about my brother dying or my friends dying or Hurricane Katrina doesn’t lessen the pain that I feel or my grief: It just means that I understand that pain and grief a bit better. Has winning the National Book Award changed the way you write? It hasn’t changed the way I write, but it has made my writing process a little slower. The pressure of the reading audience’s expectation can be heavy. But Nikki Finney, the poet who won the NBA
How important is a sense of place in your writing? I believe that place informs every aspect of who your characters are and how they see and interact with and understand the world. The natural beauty of the South and the Gulf Coast, including coastal Louisiana, has made an indelible imprint on me; I believe this landscape has influenced the way that I understand language and the way that I process imagery. Of course this finds its way into all my work.
the year I won for Salvage the Bones, told me that when I write I should forget the hoopla and remember the mystery, the love and the pain that drew me to telling stories and writing initially. Her advice has been invaluable. If you weren’t a writer, what other career would you want to pursue? I have absolutely no idea. Writing and teaching writing are the only things I’m
good at. When I was considering giving up writing, I thought that I could go back to school to become a nurse. And not because I felt drawn to it or called to it, but because I knew I was smart enough to do the coursework. I am so glad that my first publisher, Agate, opened the door for me, because I would have been a terrible nurse. Writing is the only profession that welcomes my creativity, my absentmindedness and my obsessions.—RYAN RIVET
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500 WINS Lisa Stockton became the 32nd head coach in NCAA Division-I women’s basketball to achieve 500 career wins when the Green Wave picked up a victory over Houston in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on March 6, 2015. Tulane beat Houston, 64-39.
S P O R T S
What a difference a year makes for the Tulane women’s tennis program. Last year the team was the No. 15 seed going into its conference tournament, but this year the Green Wave entered the 2015 American Conference Championships as the No. 2 seed, earning a first-round bye. Tulane head coach Terri Sisk says her players are not accustomed to coming up short like they did in 2014 with a 5-20 record, but that the setback served as a motivator this season. “We all sat down together over the summer and revamped. I knew the schedule that I had crafted for this year would be difficult for such a young team, but I also believed in this team,” says Sisk. The Green Wave went 3-1 against conference opponents in 2015, defeating the likes of Cincinnati, USF and SMU. Although No. 3 Tulsa knocked the Wave out of the ACC tournament, Sisk insists the season should be regarded as a victory. “Going 17-9 after our year last year has to the biggest turnaround in one season by any Division-I women’s tennis team,” she says. —Ryan Rivet
Tennis Moves Up
Frisbee Finesse Ultimate Team
The Tulane Ultimate Frisbee team celebrates after its win at the Huck Finn tournament in St. Louis in March.
doubles play The Green Wave women’s tennis team has made remarkable progress this year.
While it may not be making the top 10 on ESPN, the Tulane Ultimate Frisbee team is gaining a lot of recognition and respect in the Ultimate world. What is Ultimate? According to the Wall Street Journal, quoted on the Ultimate Frisbee website, “…Ultimate Frisbee combines speed, grace and powerful hurling with a grueling pace.” It’s a noncontact team sport combining features of soccer, basketball, American football and netball. And, of course, it’s played with a flying disc—a Frisbee. The Tulane team, named Rex, finished last year ranked No. 68 out of more than 260 teams in the nation. But as the 2015 season unfolded, Tulane made a remarkable climb up the rankings. Led by experienced players such as Greg Cousins and Evan Walter, the team reached the quarterfinals of the first big tournament of the year, the Santa Barbara Invite in California in late January. In February, the Rex squad notched its first tournament win in the history of Tulane’s Ultimate Frisbee program, beating Vanderbilt in the finals of the Discs Over Georgia event. In late March, Tulane made national news in the Frisbee world by winning the Huck Finn tournament in St. Louis, Missouri, knocking off nationally ranked Stanford as well as Alabama, Notre Dame, Northern Iowa and Missouri. With the Huck Finn victory, Tulane jumped to No. 24 in the national rankings, prompting Ultiworld magazine to call Rex “one of the hottest teams in the region.”
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Day of Firsts
Top: President Mike Fitts presides over Commencement 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on May 16. It was Fitts’ first Tulane graduation ceremony. Middle, left: Speaker Maya Rudolph gives her first commencement address and receives a Tulane President’s Medal. Right: Bachelor of Arts recipient and Green Envy member Piper Browne sings the National Anthem. Bottom, left: Michael White plays melodiously throughout the ceremony. Right: Class of 2015 Speaker Matthew Marx, who received a medical degree this day, delivers. Facing page: Graduates celebrate at the end of the ceremony.
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‘Say yes … and …’ maya R udolph offers graduates at commencement 2 0 1 5 W O R D S of ad v ice that she learned in acting school : B E open to building on others ’ ideas . By Mary Ann Travis Listen, say yes and celebrate today what you’ve accomplished so far. That was the message to the over 2,800 graduates of Tulane University at Commencement 2015 on Saturday, May 16, during the ceremony in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Tulane Commencement is like no other. From the swinging sounds of Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band and Topsy Chapman’s singing of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” to the confetti, balloon-drop and fireworks send-off, the graduates were feted, lauded and served up advice. “Say yes … say yes and…”—those were the words of wisdom from comedian, actress and singer Maya Rudolph, the headliner commencement speaker. Don’t negate others’ ideas, Rudolph said. “Create your own destiny. Hold onto your old friends. Kiss your momma. Admit what your dreams are. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know what you’re going to do tomorrow. But work hard and don’t be lazy.” Rudolph wowed the audience with her rendition of the “The Star Spangled Banner.” In a variety of voices, a mix-up of the words and her own sound effects, she had the audience laughing uproariously. Rudolph appeared right at home on the Tulane commencement
stage. After all, her father, Richard Rudolph, is a 1968 Tulane graduate. He was in the audience, along with the rest of her family, her husband, director Paul Thomas Anderson, their four children—and her cousin, Sabrina Rudolph, who received a bachelor’s degree from the Tulane University School of Liberal Arts. Green Envy, the Tulane a cappella group, serenaded Maya Rudolph with the hit song “Lovin’ You,” written by her father and recorded by her late mother Minnie Riperton. After the ceremony, Richard Rudolph said, “This was an amazing day for me, such an emotional journey.” Student speaker Matthew Marx, who received his medical degree from Tulane this day (his third Tulane degree), described his own emotional journey through nine years spent at Tulane. He told the graduates, “Today is your day to celebrate something we all have in common —an amazing achievement, something that will be with you forever— your ties to this city, and your bond with each other.” For Tulane President Mike Fitts, it was the first Tulane Commencement ceremony over which he has presided. For the first time, he instructed Tulane graduates to switch the tassels on their mortarboards to the left side after he officially conferred their degrees.
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Signals The mysteries of the brain lead Tulane r e s e a r c h e r s d o w n p a t h s o f d i s c o v e r y. By Mary Ann Travis
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stephanie dalton cowan
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SEX AND THE BRAIN Daniel is a behavioral neuroscientist, meaning that she is interested in the relationship between the brain and behavior. For nearly two decades, she has studied the effects of sex on the brain and behavior. That’s not amorous feelings and acts, but sex at the most basic biological level. That is, whether an animal or human is male or female. Because, says Daniel, “whether you are male or female has a profound effect on every organ of the body, including the brain.” Using rat models, Daniel has investigated the effects of hormones —estrogen, which is predominant in females, and androgens, most prevalent in males. Recently, she has looked at how androgens act in the brain to contribute to sex differences in impulsivity. And she’s found that, yes, as parents of boys can probably attest, young males exhibit more impulsive behavior than their estrogen-laden counterparts. At the other end of the lifespan, Daniel has explored estrogen and its effect on memory in aging females when estrogen drops off precipitously after menopause. Both hormones—estrogen and androgen—affect the hippocampus area of the brain, an important site of memory making. At the moment, Daniel has a National Institute on Aging grant to look at the effects of estrogen on the hippocampus. The long-term implication of her research is to figure out what is the optimum estrogenreplacement therapy for women in order to shore up memory functions. She’s not making clinical recommendations. She points out, “We’re basic scientists.” But she can say that indications are that good things happen in the relationship between plentiful estrogen and memory activity in the brain.
stephanie dalton cowan
The human brain is a mighty organ. It only weighs about three pounds but it controls all bodily functions—both voluntary and involuntary. It is through the brain that our senses perceive the world. And in the brain, we think, learn, plan, scheme, react—and remember. Our emotions are seated in the brain. To understand the brain is to understand us, says Jill Daniel, professor of psychology and director of the Neuroscience Program at Tulane. “That’s why it’s exciting to me to study the brain. It’s who we are and what makes us human.” President Barack Obama announced the White House Brain Initiative (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) in April 2013. And in 2013–15, Tulane neuroscience faculty brought in over $21 million in external funding to support their research. The Tulane Neuroscience Program encompasses 43 faculty researchers in the School of Science and Engineering, the School of Medicine and the National Primate Research Center. As part of a Brain Initiative at Tulane, they collaborate as they never have before to unravel the brain’s mysteries, of which there are many. The Tulane researchers operate in a matrix of postdoctoral fellows, PhD graduate students, master’s students and undergraduates—all exploring the brain in one way or another. “We have over 400 people in the Tulane community who are involved in the neuroscience endeavors,” says Daniel. The long-range goal is to create a Tulane Brain Institute. In the meantime, interdisciplinary work flourishes in four main areas of strength: hormones and the brain, cognition (learning, memory and attention), the autonomic nervous system and its disorders, and neurodegeneration.
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STRESS AND THE BRAIN Jeff Tasker, professor of cell and molecular biology, holds the Catherine and Hunter Pierson Chair in Neuroscience at Tulane. He, too, emphasizes the importance of basic research. “Knowledge is gained through basic research,” he says. The ultimate goal is human health and well-being, but scientists can’t guarantee where their research is leading. Scientific inquiry might seem superfluous or even fantastical at times. But there’s a necessary leap into the unknown to discover practical applications down the road. One can’t always predict where lines of inquiry will go. For more than 20 years, Tasker has studied neuroendocrine systems in the brain and the pituitary gland, which secretes hormones. Grants from the federal National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation have funded his work. Tasker concentrates on neurons—signaling cells that generate electrical impulses and transmit information to initiate behavior and control thought—in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is an ancient part of the brain. It sits at the top of the brain stem and is essential to physiological homeostasis, the body’s functional balance—all the things that happen in the body without our thinking about them. Right next door to the hypothalamus is the amygdala—a part of the brain that controls anxiety. In the amygdala, “fear-memory” is expressed. Stress—as might be expected—facilitates the expression of fear-memory. It can be any kind of stress, says Tasker, “whether I’m about to be eaten by a lion or I’ve got a deadline, you produce this response that is a neuroendocrine response.” If the stress is not too severe, the fear-memory, in time, may be suppressed or extinguished. What happens in anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders is that the brain does not extinguish fear-memory. Debilitating unease remains. Lately, at the cellular level in mice models, Tasker is looking at unextinguishable fear-memory triggered by stress. “I’m passionate about our research,” says Tasker. And, he adds, research from the stress and stress disorder perspective is a good niche for Tulane. “We have distinct strengths in this area.” ATTENTION AND THE BRAIN Edward Golob, associate professor of psychology, is impressed with the mundane. “I think that one indication of good brain engineering on the part of Mother Nature is when things happen without having to think about it,” he says. “For example, speaking and listening to other people is a daily miracle.” Speech is a complicated series of sounds. Yet, we rapidly encode and decode these sounds to communicate ideas. “Decades of work have gone into designing computers to do this,” says Golob, “but the speech abilities of an average child develop naturally and are still much better.” Trained as a musician before he turned to psychology, Golob is also starting to explore how music operates in the brains of musicians. “Music can tell us a lot about basic aspects of the brain,” he says. “How do you hear? How do you move? How do you learn things?” Musicians have to learn complicated musical parts. And their brains are demonstrably different from non-musicians’ brains. “We can literally see that,” says Golob. Some of Golob’s other research asks how the brain represents space. He is particularly interested in how auditory attention shifts, like a seesaw, over space when you are distracted. This research is a focus of Golob’s work that has support from both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He uses human subjects to study the electrical activity—the
“The brain is so complex. And we still understand so little about how the brain works. But with good basic neuroscience from the people we have uptown, within the next few years, we’ll understand a lot more than we do now.” —Bruce Bunnell, professor of
pharmacology and director of the Tulane Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine
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Brainiacs Psychology professor Jill Daniel (center) leads a team of researchers in her lab, from undergraduates to master’s and PhD students to postdocs: (left to right) Kevin Pollard, Elin Grissom, Katie Black, Jeff Darling, Melanie Hotz, Josh Zalis and Nina Baumgartner.
neurons—in the brain, and track how attention is invested in different parts of space. His exploration of how the auditory system is used for spatial attention is leading him to get interested in how attention and memory work together. “Initially, people thought about long-term memory as being separate from attention and separate from perception but they actually may be much more interrelated,” he says. “The bigger picture here is that we carry around in our heads knowledge. It’s being used on the fly every second of every day. And we want to understand how that knowledge sculpts your moment-tomoment experience in life. How does memory affect attention? How does it affect perception?” In the end, the rationale for why Golob studies the brain is the same as Jill Daniel’s reason: “It is about us—our brains are what make us tick,” he says. PLASTICITY IN THE BRAIN Ricardo Mostany, assistant professor of pharmacology, is trying to understand how we learn, too. In the circuitry of the brain’s cortex, he’s looking into how we learn, remember and forget things. He’s doing his investigation with the most advanced imaging facilities in the region—in vivo two-photon laser scanning microscopy equipment that he built himself. “We are putting Tulane in the vanguard of the South in terms of high-resolution imaging,” says Mostany, who joined Tulane in 2012. In a newly constructed lab in the School of Medicine building, Mostany is focusing on how the aged brain learns and stores information. With high-resolution imaging of living brains, he and his laboratory members can see the same cell, the same neuron, over days, weeks and months.
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“We can study how this neuron is behaving normally and how this neuron behaves when the animal needs to learn how to do something,” he says. What Mostany is discovering is that in an old brain, the neurons make connections that are not stable. “So they change more often than it does in the young brain,” he says. That may be the reason why the aged brain is more forgetful, “because even being able to establish a connection between two cells, this connection is more temporary than in a young brain.” In younger brains, connections between neurons seem to stay longer. “The brain circuits are plastic, are constantly changing at a certain degree,” says Mostany. That’s how we learn things. Plasticity in the brain is necessary for learning, for remembering. “However, in the very old brain, those changes are more accelerated,” says Mostany. “And, it’s the excessive plasticity that might be detrimental.” An old brain appears not to have good plasticity. “Plasticity somehow becomes exacerbated at a certain point that is not beneficial anymore.” The research line that Mostany is following is how to prevent neurons from making an elevated number of contacts. As the brain ages, it may need to make fewer contacts but more stable ones. Mostany’s work has significance for treating dementia and perhaps just remembering where we put our car keys. “There is a fine line between healthy aging and early stages of dementia,” he says. CEREBRAL CIRCULATION David Busija, Regents endowed professor and chair of pharmacology, is interested in how the brain is able to communicate with blood vessels that supply nutrients to the brain because “there’s a need to match blood flow to metabolic demand,” he says. When things are out of whack due to the metabolic syndrome (which includes hypertension, insulin resistance and diabetes), the long-term consequences can be dementia or stroke. Busija has been at Tulane for five years after spending 20 years at Wake Forest University Medical School. The National Institutes of Health have provided continuous funding for his research since 1982. He was among the first scientists to look at the cerebral circulation almost three decades ago. At that time, his research involved studying the large arteries on the brain surface through a cranial window as well as local blood flow using microspheres. Recently, however, Ricardo Mostany has built new equipment for Busija that “allows us to look inside the brain and look at the blood flow in real time in a live rodent.” The new imaging capabilities have opened up exciting possibilities for exploring—and eventually treating—what happens in the 90 percent of strokes resulting from plugged up blood vessels. Recent research by Ibolya Rutkai, a postdoctoral fellow in Busija’s lab, has shown that after a stroke, mitochondria (energy-producing structures) of cells in cerebral arteries appear to be in fairly good shape. Mitochondria produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which allows cells to repair, build proteins and transport nutrients. “Therapies that target the mitochondria may improve outcome after a stroke,” says Busija. This is a hypothesis that needs more testing, he says. “It’s like anything in science. You can have your hypotheses but until you do the experiment, you don’t know what you’re going to get.” “Studying the brain is very complex,” he adds. “It took a long time to develop the methods to study the circulation of the brain because there are many arteries going to it, and many veins coming from it. And, until recently, it has been difficult to study small arteries inside the brain.” But the new equipment built by Mostany “gives us great imaging capacity,” says Busija. “It’s an exciting time.”
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“Knowledge is gained through basic research.” —Jeff Tasker,
professor of cell and molecular biology and holder of the Catherine and Hunter Pierson Chair in Neuroscience
DIABETES AND THE BRAIN When diabetes strikes, the brain may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the brain is essential in the body’s communication circuitry— and in diabetes something is “off” in that circuitry. Andrea Zsombok, assistant professor of physiology, is investigating the brain’s role in regulating and maintaining glucose levels in the body. “The brain has so much potential—and so many things we have no idea about,” said Zsombok. “It’s amazing.” Like many of the brain researchers, she’s studying neurons. She’s particularly looking at neurons that convey to the liver the need to store or release sugar. Diabetes is a disease associated with high blood sugar levels. Sugar (or glucose) is blocked from proper use in the body because the pancreas does not release insulin or the body can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. In addition, the liver, which also is responsible for storing and making glucose, plays an important role in the maintenance of sugar levels. Zsombok studies brain activity in the hypothalamus, the site of control of all the autonomic functions of the body, such as body temperature and blood pressure—and glucose levels. She’s probing how neurons associated with the liver function normally. She then records what happens during diabetes when the neurons are not acting properly. “We are interested in thinking about how we can prevent or reverse this change of the neuron during diabetes,” says Zsombok. Her work on how the brain controls glucose homeostasis is supported by the National Institutes of Health. Her goal is to help people with diabetes and in the long run find a way to restore neurons gone awry in people suffering from the disease. “Hopefully, we will succeed in that way,” she says. STEM CELL THERAPY AND THE BRAIN Bruce Bunnell is director of the Tulane Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine and a professor of pharmacology. His lab is in the J. Bennett Johnson Health and Environmental Research Building in downtown New Orleans. Bunnell’s recent emphasis is on using adult stem cells as potential avenues for treating neurodegenerative diseases, particularly
multiple sclerosis, suffered by millions of people worldwide, and Krabbe’s disease. Through meticulous experimentation, Bunnell, PhD student Annie Bowles and others have collected “convincing” data, says Bunnell, that by giving stem cells to a mouse with fairly severe multiple sclerosis, the mouse’s symptoms improve. The stem cells are derived from adipose tissue—fat cells retrieved from elective liposuction. Medical waste, really. “Our data is good enough,” says Bunnell, “that I would like to take it to human clinical trials as soon as I can.” Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body starts attacking itself. What gets attacked is the myelin—the insulation of the nerves. “Think of myelin like the plastic coating of electrical wire, so that electricity flows down the wire,” says Bunnell. “Myelin serves the same function for nerve conduction.” The effect of the adult fat stem cell therapy is to quiet the inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis. An inherent property of fat cells is that they are “potently anti-inflammatory,” says Bunnell. “What we’re focused on,” he says, “is what is the mechanism by which the brain and the spinal cord get better? “In my heart of hearts, I feel that if we can get these cells to MS patients, they will benefit.” Bunnell says that basic science researchers such as Jill Daniel and Jeff Tasker on the uptown campus do “very good neuroscience. They help us understand how the brain works, and why it works the way it does. “Then we’re on the other end of the spectrum, saying we want to treat disease.” The push for interconnectivity between basic neuroscience researchers and researchers exploring treatments is welcomed by Bunnell. “There’s a lot we could learn from each other.” He anticipates that the Brain Initiative and increased uptown/downtown/primate center collaborations will lead to better understanding of disease processes, which can result in tailored therapeutic treatments, whether gene therapy, stem cells or a pharmacological approach. “If you understand what goes wrong, fixing then becomes a little bit easier,” says Bunnell. “The brain is so complex. And we still understand so little about how the brain works that it’s going to be challenging. But with good basic neuroscience from the people we have uptown, within the next few years, we’ll understand a lot more than we do now.”
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HOPE FOR ALZHEIMER’S The fact that so much is unknown about Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases has hit home in a personal and sad way to uptown researcher Anne Robinson. Robinson, who came to Tulane three years ago, holds the Catherine and Henry Boh Chair of Engineering, and she is chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. More than eight years ago, Robinson’s mother was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, and within a year she died. In her mother’s case, as in more than 90 percent of Alzheimer’s cases, there was no family history of the disease. “What I became aware of, because of the personal aspect, was the feeling of helplessness for those impacted,” says Robinson. “At that time, talking to doctors, there were no therapies offered and nothing that would even slow down the progression of the disease.” What amazed Robinson as she learned more about the disease is the huge impact it has on our society, with more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2014. While Robinson had long looked at stress-response pathways in cells, she had not studied neurodegeneration. But with her mother’s death in 2007, the focus of Robinson’s research shifted. She set out to learn as much as she could about tau protein in the brain. Tau tangles, like amyloid beta plaques, are associated with Alzheimer’s. And Robinson’s mother’s brain had many tau tangles. Tau protein forms structure for neurons—the communicating cells—by wrapping around microtubules in the brain and spinal cord to stabilize them. But, “when tau gets messed up,” says Robinson, “it doesn’t function like it should, and the microtubules fall apart. That’s part of why the neurons start to die.” A result is a decrease in the size of the entire brain in Alzheimer’s. That’s why memory goes, and Alzheimer’s patients start to not connect with people, even people they’ve known for years. “The one thing that’s correlated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s is exercise,” says Robinson. Exercise brings more oxygen to the brain. And more oxygen may lead to healthier regeneration of cells. In her lab now, Robinson is looking at what happens when oxygen is deprived in the brain cells of rodents. “If the loss of oxygen is the problem,” she says, “can we reproduce that effect by depriving the cells of oxygen? Then we look to see whether the affected pathways in the brain mimic neurodegeneration.” She’d like to find out if there is a way of using chemicals to reoxygenate the cells—and if such a therapy would help. It’s too early to say exactly where Robinson’s research will lead. But her personal experience motivates her to try to find ways to disrupt the neurodegenerative pathways involved in Alzheimer’s so that, at the least, the progress of the disease can be slowed. “If we can offer a potential therapy to slow down progression, then that would be significant,” she says. Like other Tulane brain researchers, she’s optimistic. “I hope that in the next few years that we’ll have something like that, or another option to help people. “There’s nothing I can do anymore for my mother, right? But to help have an impact on other people who might be facing something similar, I feel like that has some meaning.” And another mystery of the brain will be untangled.—M.A.T.
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Shakespeare ’ Precious Plays T h e F i r s t F o l i o —a r a r e c o l l e c t i o n o f W i l l i a m S h a k e s p e a r e ’ s p l ay s — i s o n i t s way t o T u l a n e i n a f i r s t - e v e r t o u r o f t h e U n i t e d St a t e s .
Photos of First Folio and bust of William Shakespeare, courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library
By Mary Sparacello
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A secure, climate-controlled underground vault in the nation’s capital houses a third of all the copies of one of the most treasured books in English literature. Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, commonly called the First Folio by modern scholars, was released in 1623 and marked the first time Shakespeare’s plays were collected and published. To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death next year, some of these books will rise from the depths of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., for a first-ever tour of the United States. Tulane was chosen as one of 52 sites to display the First Folio for four weeks next year. The First Folio will be on display at the Newcomb Art Gallery from May 9–31, 2016. Eighteen First Folios will be on display on a rotation—one in each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. When the cherished book arrives on campus, New Orleanians will honor its author in a way only they can: by holding a jazz funeral. Hundreds of venues applied to host the First Folio. But the judges cheered Tulane’s proposal to hold a jazz funeral for the occasion. “It’s a perfect expression of how people in all parts of the United States make Shakespeare their own in ways that are unique to their communities,” says Dan De Simone, the Eric Weinmann Librarian at the Folger. A Monumental Statement The First Folio is “one of the most important books ever published,” says Michael Kuczynski, associate professor of English at Tulane and chair of the department. “It represents a monumental statement on the importance of Shakespeare and his plays to English literary and cultural history.” Seven years after his death, two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, published a collection of 36 plays. Without it, 18 of Shakespeare’s plays might have been lost forever. Macbeth would not lament life as “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Julius Caesar wouldn’t be warned to “beware the Ides of March.” Without The Tempest, what’s past would not be prologue. And without As You Like It, all the world would not be a stage. The other half of Shakespeare’s plays had been published individually during his lifetime, in a smaller format called a quarto, similar to today’s trade paperbacks. The size of the First Folio indicates the high regard contemporaries had for Shakespeare after his death. The book is about 900 pages long and 12 inches tall. At the time, only the most monumental books—such as Bibles—were published as folios, the largest print format available in a Renaissance press. The book features a flowery eulogy penned by Shakespeare’s friendly rival Ben Jonson. (“He praised Shakespeare only after Shakespeare
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died,” Kuczynski says as an aside.) The First Folio also includes a portrait of the author by Martin Droeshout, one of the only two authentic portraits known to exist. “The publication of the First Folio conferred on Shakespeare a kind of status as a writer which set him apart from everybody else writing in English,” Kuczynski says. It is estimated that 750 First Folios were printed; 233 are known to remain, and of those the Folger Shakespeare Library owns 82. The Folger’s founders, Henry Clay Folger, who made his fortune around the turn of the 20th century as an executive at Standard Oil, and his wife, Emily Jordan Folger, spent years amassing the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. Tulane is one of the few Deep South universities on the Folger Institute Consortium, a research and educational arm of the Folger library. Kuczynski is a faculty representative on the consortium’s council, which conceived of the traveling First Folio exhibit as a way to commemorate Shakespeare’s death. The Chosen Few Selection to host a traveling First Folio was an extensive, competitive process. Hopefuls promised to meet temperature, lighting and security requirements. When the First Folio arrives, for example, it must be acclimatized for 24 hours in a secure location with the same temperature and relative humidity as the exhibition gallery. Guards must be stationed at the gallery whenever the exhibit is open to the public. To be selected, host sites proposed Shakespeare-related programming geared to a wide range of people, both on- and off-campus. “We want to offer different points of access,” says Mónica RamírezMontagut, director of the Newcomb Art Gallery. The Bard’s plays are accessible, a fact Tulane will highlight to draw in viewers. “Everyone can see themselves or someone they know reflected in Shakespeare’s plays,” she says.
The First Folio is a work of art, a collection of literary masterpieces. But Shakespeare’s genius is meant to be performed, says Clare Moncrief, managing director of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. Moncrief will be one of many to work with Kuczynski to facilitate events around the exhibition—including live performances. Moncrief marvels at Shakespeare’s ability to write multidimensional characters, to which she credits his lasting popularity. Giving such complex thought and motivation not only to royals but also commoners— including women—was almost unprecedented at the time, she says. His characters feel what we all feel in the complexity of love and happiness and jealousy and grief, now and 400 years ago. “As magnificent as Shakespeare is on the page, it’s even more so when spoken by an actor,” Moncrief says. When it arrives at Tulane, the First Folio will be opened to the “to be or not to be” soliloquy from Hamlet. It’s a fitting message for New Orleans, which will have just marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, says Kuczynski. “Just as Hamlet decides to move forward and to embrace his destiny rather than ceasing to live,” he says, “in the same way, in a very profound and moving sense, Tulane and New Orleans decided to move forward and embrace their destiny, triumphing over the tragedy of Katrina.” Kuczynski is working with area universities, New Orleans public libraries and The Historic New Orleans Collection to widen the exhibition’s reach. The exposure of the jazz funeral will draw the eyes of the entire area, if not the world. “A jazz funeral is probably the most appropriate way that New Orleans musicians can honor a person of value,” says Bruce Raeburn, curator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane. “This is an opportunity to show respect to a great literary artist by some great musical artists in New Orleans.” Jazz funerals are uniquely New Orleans but have roots in West Africa and Europe, Raeburn says. Although they have changed throughout the past century, they often follow a similar three-part pattern, he says. On
This page: Michael Kuczynski, seated by the King James Bible in Rare Books of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, has landed the Shakespeare First Folio exhibit in a competitive process. Facing page: The three witches gather round in Macbeth, produced by the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane last year. Live performances of Shakespeare’s plays are planned in conjunction with the First Folio exhibit.
A Feather in His Cap
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Photo courtesy New orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane
“The publication of the First Folio conferred on Shakespeare a kind of status as a writer which set him apart from everybody else writing in English.” —Michael Kuczynski
Rare books at Tulane To accompany the exhibition, Kuczynski will establish an “archival circuit” of other rare books on campus and in New Orleans. For example, visitors to the First Folio will be directed afterwards to visit such masterpieces as Tulane’s first edition of the King James Bible, printed during Shakespeare’s lifetime; John Gerard’s Herball or General Historie of Plantes, a 1597 botany book poular in its time that includes descriptions and pictures of flowers and precious herbs mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays; and Samuel Johnson’s groundbreaking Dictionary of the English Language in which Shakespeare is frequently cited as an authority. [See the sidebar about other rare books in the Tulane collection.] It is interesting to note that Samuel Johnson actually owned a First Folio for a time in the mid 18th century. Just by the way the pages are worn, we can tell what Johnson thought, says Paul Collins, in The Book of William: How Shakespeare’s First Folio Conquered the World. Collins surmises that Johnson didn’t like the histories (these pages were cleanest), loved the tragedies (dirtier and darker than the rest of the plays) and especially loved Macbeth (the “grubbiest of all.”) It is the past reaching through the pages of a book to make a connection with the present that energizes Kuczynski. He is an expert on rare books who enthuses on their potential to move us. “Many people think of a book as old-fashioned,” he says, “but it is actually quite sophisticated technologically. When we swipe our fingers across a tablet or iPhone, the information is ephemeral, it moves away from us. It’s gone. When we look at a magnificent book like the First Folio, its legacy is durable. It lasts.” It’s something that Shakespeare’s two fellow actors knew well as they prepared their friend’s endlessly meaningful plays for publication: our books will live long after we do.
When Shakespeare’s First Folio arrives on the Tulane University campus next spring, it will join a distinctive assortment of rare books already on campus in important Tulane archives. Tulane’s rare books collection holds nearly 50,000 volumes. It includes rare books both ancient and modern such as 30 incunabula (books printed before 1500) and first editions of Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner. A page of the Gutenberg Bible (circa 1456) “takes you back to the dawn of print,” says Bruce Raeburn, director of special collections. Also in the Tulane collection is the Book of Hours (pictured here), a Christian devotional book that dates to around 1490. It is a work of art with vivid illustrations, typefaces and elegant bindings. Notably, Tulane holds 54 of the 66 volumes published by the Kelmscott Press of Victorian artist and author William Morris. Kelmscott’s impressive output echoes the manuscripts of medieval and early modern Europe with vivid printings and elegant bindings. The collection is currently located in Jones Hall. With the renovation of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, it will move to a dedicated, climate-controlled space on the sixth floor of the library. This will allow the department to expand its holdings and hopefully hire a rare books librarian, Raeburn says. Tulane’s collection grows through donations of materials as well as acquisitions. For example, Tulane has an endowment to collect rare books about cats and dogs. And in a noteworthy donation, Samuel Johnson’s landmark Dictionary of the English Language was discovered in an attic and given to the university by Tulane alumnus and former Ambassador to Finland John G. Weinmann (A&S ’50) and his wife, the former Virginia Lee Eason. So check your attics. … —M.S.
Rare Books, Tulane University Special Collections
the way to meet the body, the band plays spirituals. When the deceased person joins the procession, the band brings out slow, emotional dirges. The clarinet sounds like a human voice crying out. After the body is buried, the band, members of the benevolent association or social aid and pleasure club organizing the jazz funeral, and the family leave the graveyard. It is then that the neighborhood joins the second-line, and everything changes from sorrow to joy. “In New Orleans, it’s the greatest respect you can show,” Raeburn says. “It’s the entire neighborhood showing up to honor an individual but also reminding themselves that they’re still alive and life goes on.”
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Pitchman Peter Ricchiuti, the driving force behind Burkenroad Reports of the A . B. Freeman School of Business, finds great joy in financial markets—and the game of baseball.
By Carol J. Schlueter Who is the ultimate pitchman for the A. B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University and New Orleans? Peter Ricchiuti, the dynamo behind Burkenroad Reports, the “stocks under rocks” awardwinning market research program that has helped propel more than 700 Tulane grads into jobs in the financial sector. Ricchiuti masterfully juggles the roles of a popular teacher who can actually make financial markets fascinating; an author and sought-after speaker on the lecture circuit; a valued mentor to students who’s always on the hunt for job placements; and the host of a weekly, slightly off-beat radio program about New Orleans business that, despite critics who thought otherwise, keeps finding businesses to profile (and has two other Louisiana cities itching to start similar broadcasts). A listener who heard him lecture: “This guy is ‘Human Tabasco!’” Freeman School professor and former dean James McFarland: “His initials are not PR for nothing, right?” But Ricchiuti also enjoys activities where he can’t “speed things up” like vegetable gardening (heirloom tomatoes and odd-shaped watermelons). As a kid he loved to dig clams by the shore with his family in Massachusetts. “It didn’t matter who you were, you had to wait for the tide to go out!” Scratch the surface and you’ll discover Ricchiuti has three loves— his wife and two sons, baseball, and the stock market. “If it wasn’t for the markets, I wouldn’t get up in the morning,” he says. “It’s the world’s greatest sport, even better than baseball. Although it’s close.” He credits baseball for helping him rebound after brain surgery in 2004. GRAND SLAM A Boston native, Ricchiuti discovered his love of financial markets in his final semester as an undergraduate at Babson College. He was the first person in his family to go to college. “If after all this money, I tell my parents I want to be a fireman or something, they’re going to kill me,” he recalls. So he took a class on security research and analysis, and jokes that “it was like a religious experience—the sky opened, a bright light came through, the angels
sang.” After graduation he went to work in the investment business, and “I can’t imagine working on anything else.” Ricchiuti’s path to Tulane started in 1986 when he became a part-time finance instructor at the Freeman School, while he also was serving as assistant state treasurer and chief investment officer for the state of Louisiana. Teaching at Tulane stirred up his imagination. With the support of then-dean McFarland, he cooked up the crazy idea (so it seemed at the time to some business faculty members) of dividing students into teams to develop market reports on Louisiana companies. The experiential learning idea, rather earth-shaking in 1986, earned a bit of funding from a state education grant program. In 1998, with the financial support from Freeman alumnus Aaron Selber, Ricchiuti’s program became Burkenroad Reports, named after Selber’s father-in-law, William Burkenroad. What began as a 24student extracurricular program has grown into a class with 200 students per year, doing in-depth studies of 40 small- to mediumsized public companies from Texas to Florida—companies that had gone virtually unnoticed by Wall Street. Ricchiuti is fiercely proud of his students. “I tell employers, these students are an asset from the day they walk in the door because of all this experiential learning. And they are very good people; that’s the reputation we have in the investment community: Nice young people who contribute to the organization’s success on day one.” Alumni remain loyal to Burkenroad Reports, the Freeman School and Tulane. “These alums get great positions with strong firms and then throw the rope back over,” Ricchiuti says, contacting him when opportunities are present at their companies. As alumna Anne Kelligrew St. Clair (B ’01), senior vice president at Wells Fargo, says, “Peter has created a truly unique equity research experience for Tulane students. He has put Tulane’s Freeman School of Business on the map.” “Peter is in this for the students and lives to inspire others with his passion for teaching and the world of finance,” adds alumnus Edward J. Crawford IV (B ’08), vice president of Goldman Sachs. Freeman School dean Ira Solomon sums it up this way: “If I had an
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“If I had an opportunity to get three wishes from a genie, the first three would be a chance to clone Peter. That’s what a fine individual he is.” —Ira Solomon,
dean of the A. B. Freeman School of Business
opportunity to get three wishes from a genie, the first three would be a chance to clone Peter. That’s what a fine individual he is.” Key to Recovery The family that named Burkenroad RePeter Ricchiuti plays ports thinks the program is “tremendous,” baseball with the says Dewey Corley, longtime business partField of Dreams ner of the late Aaron Selber (B ’50). “There team on the Tulane wouldn’t be a Burkenroad Reports program uptown campus. if it wasn’t for Peter. He singlehandedly conceived it, created it, and has run it since its inception,” Corley says. The program is hard to replicate. As McFarland says, “There’s not a single business school that has done it. You’ve got to have champions to make things happen, and Peter’s our champion. “In Peter’s jargon, it’s a home run. Actually it’s a grand slam.”
FIELD OF DREAMS Baseball takes up a big space in Ricchiuti’s heart. His mom was the baseball fan who taught him to throw a ball. He has played the game “all his life” and was a pitcher on his college team. It’s what you’d expect from a Bostonian who grew up a half mile from Fenway Park, or as he says, “right next to the baseball Vatican.” So in 2004 Ricchiuti was in Boston with his family for a Red Sox game when he suddenly had severe vertigo and head pain. He didn’t miss the game, of course, but ended up at Massachusetts General Hospital for 10 days to recover from a brain bleed due to a congenital condition called AVM, arteriovenous malformation. He returned to Boston a few months later for major brain surgery. Sidelined until the spring semester, he had to learn to walk again. To help get his balance back, he joined the “Field of Dreams” team of former baseball players, including some Tulane lettermen, who play at Brown Field on the Tulane uptown campus every Saturday morning. “Those practices have been a big key to my recovery,” Ricchiuti says. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world that I’m still alive.” His office has a shelf dedicated to his baseball hero—San Francisco Giants’ diminutive, long-haired pitcher Tim Lincecum —but his true hero is his dad, who sold auto insurance door-to-door, often walking up to 15 miles a day. Tops in sales at his company, he also battled a family history of depression. “He worked on commission, and the only way we were going to have food on the table was for him to go out there. It was just Herculean, what he did.” If Ricchiuti sounds passionate about baseball, he’s equally passionate about supporting Tulane—he’ll soon be going on the road to talk to alumni clubs about the economy—and helping community organizations. For more than 20 years he also has been on the air fundraising for the city’s National Public Radio station. And that gig for WWNO led to his popular weekly public radio program, “Out to Lunch.” Local producer Grant Morris heard him joking and begging for donations, and they dreamed up a new venture: a weekly talk show at Commander’s Palace featuring the city’s business entrepreneurs. Why do it? Ricchiuti knew that New Orleans was gaining traction as a top city for young entrepreneurs, “but I didn’t hear anybody talk about it at home. I figured we had to develop a sense of pride in what we’d become. You know, toot our own horn a bit.” Guests have included some of his former students including upand-comer Paco Robert, co-founder of Dinner Lab (pop-up dinner events in deserted buildings) and Tim Williamson (B ’87), co-founder of business incubator The Idea Village. Ricchiuti’s bottom line: “I love meeting the guests. I’m just fascinated with companies, with how people make money, how businesses get started. I’m not faking it—I’m more interested than anyone else in the room.”
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SONGSTER Eugenie Ricau Rocherolle (NC ’58) debuted a new collection of piano solo pieces, “New Orleans Sketches,” at the Music Teachers National Association conference in March. The publication is dedicated to “all the great New Orleans musicians who have made the good times roll.” Rocherolle has published more than 100 books, representing more than 600 pieces.
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courtesy of the Fulfillment Fund
Rewarding Experience Josh Klinefelter is president of the Fulfillment Fund in Los Angeles, guiding underserved youth as they navigate high school and college.
women making waves Cecile Tebo, left, and Virginia Saussy talk about expanding leadership opportunities for women. They were part of a panel discussion at an alumni relations event on March 21, 2015, at the Lavin Bernick Center on the Tulane uptown campus.
For Josh Klinefelter (TC ’97), a partner at Aurora Capital Group, serving others started early. A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Klinefelter majored in Spanish and Latin American studies. Following study abroad in Central America, he returned home to enter the finance sector on Wall Street. Both in New Orleans and New York, Klinefelter had long been involved in tutoring students from underserved communities. “My mother was a social worker, and I was always involved in community service,” he says. When he moved to Los Angeles in 1999, Klinefelter joined the Fulfillment Fund, which serves approximately 2,700 students per year. The fund, of which Klinefelter is now board president, sponsors one-on-one mentorship programs at six partner schools. Pairing economically underprivileged students with mentors who coach them through their high school and college careers, the Fulfillment Fund cites increased graduation rates among its participants. Impressive as the statistics are, though, Klinefelter prefers the stories behind them. One of his own mentees was an undocumented high school sophomore who is now a biomedical engineering graduate. Klinefelter says that his mentee is “like my own little brother.” The notion of family is apt because, along with others, Klinefelter personally sponsored his mentee’s education. Klinefelter is quick to credit Tulane’s focus on public service as inspiration for his own efforts, and he encourages Tulane students and alumni to get involved. “There are so many opportunities to make a difference,” he says.—Benjamin Morris
At “Women Making Waves,” sponsored by the Tulane Office of Alumni Relations, on March 21, 2015, more than 100 attendees heard a panel featuring Ruthie Frierson (NC ’62) of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans; Cecile Tebo (SW ’84), crisis intervention and family resource specialist with the National Alliance on Mental Illness; Kara Van de Carr (L ’98), founder of Eden House for survivors of human trafficking; and Virginia Saussy (NC ’88), a founding member of the Krewe of Muses. The women talked about expanding leadership from the boardroom to the community. “These women are inventive, strong, cooperative, and, being Tulane University alumnae, we’re very, very smart,” said Florence D. Andre (NC ’66, G ’74), who introduced the panel. Andre is co-founder of nola4women, which is focusing initiatives on women and girls from the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this year to the celebrations of New Orleans’ tri-centennial in 2018. Frierson declared Hurricane Katrina “the spark that called us to action … citizens around the region were absolutely enraged, and we wanted to harness this frustration with a petition drive. We were seeing red and wanted the legislators to see red, too.” The panel was part of an all-day event. Plans are to hold similar events each spring. Alumni are encouraged to join the free Tulane Connect (tulaneconnect.com) to network, identify mentors, find jobs and internships, and advance their careers. —Fran Simon
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Dispatch Jarrod Beck W H E R E
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1940s ROBERT M. WOOLFOLK (E ’47) announces the publication of Little Slices of the Big Easy: Growing Up in New Orleans, an account of his 1930s and ”40s childhood, by Wynnton Publishing. Woolfolk lives in Houston with his wife and daughter and is working on his next book. This book is available on Amazon.
Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans honored MARJORIE BISSINGER (NC ’49) and her daughter, NANCY BISSINGER TIMM (SW ’81), at its annual fundraiser, Rhythm & Soul, in May. In addition to extensive volunteer work, Bissinger was the elf and storyteller on WDSU-TV’s children’s program “Let’s Tell a Story” and taught nursery school at the Jewish Community Center for 18 years. Timm is a clinical social worker in private practice since 1984 and an active volunteer in the community. 1950s DONALD A. BERMAN (M ’57) is president of OSHA Medical Courses, a company devoted to providing low-cost OSHA compliance materials online to members of the medical community. 1960s Sketches of oil rigs by ERROL BARRON (A ’64) were on display at an exhibit called “Rigged” at the Boyd Satellite Gallery in New Orleans in April. Artful Feast: An Elegant Lifestyle for Dining, by NIA TEREZAKIS (M ’66), features the author’s favorite recipes and the art that fills her New Orleans home. The book is available online at www.artfulfeastcookbook.com. RICHARD EDGAR ZWEZ (G ’68) announces publication of his 14th book, New Orleans Energy: The Dynamic Culture in Its Citizens, a sequel to his humorous, realistic novel, New Orleans Spirit: A Tchoupitoulas Life. Now retired, Zwez lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he is commander of American Legion Post 38 and chief rabban of the Shriners. Zwez says his editor is now reading his 15th book and Zwez is writing his next book.
1970s In May, ELIOT M. ARNOVITZ (A&S ’70), president and CEO of M&P Shopping Centers, received the Selig Distinguished Service Award from the American Jewish Committee in Atlanta. The AJC recognized Arnovitz for his support of the Atlanta Jewish community and the overall growth of the city through his work at M&P Shopping Centers, which specializes in
AUGUSTUS E. “ANDY” ANDERSON JR. (M ’49) was a practicing physician until he retired at the age of 89, two years ago. He practiced in association with Baptist Hospital and was medical director at River Gardens Retirement Home. Anderson lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida, and paints full-time. He wrote and illustrated Of Hearts and Roses. For more information, visit www.augustuseanderson.com.
OVERWHELMING ARCHITECTURE Though one may think of architecture as a relatively straightforward field of study and career path—learning to design and build buildings, and then doing so professionally—it can be anything but linear. “I knew that I wanted to make things, but I didn’t want to follow a traditional career path in architecture,” says New York–based artist Jarrod Beck (A ’00). After working for several years in New York City and Los Angeles in capacities as disparate as cabinetmaker, production assistant for television and film, and even architect for a brief stint, Beck decided to go back to school, earning an MFA in studio art from the University of Texas–Austin in 2007. Influenced in part by Los Angeles–based sculptor Glen Seator, with whom he worked on large public art pieces during the years between Tulane and the University of Texas, Beck’s work generally takes the form of massive installation pieces and drawings. These are fragile structures, often made from wood and paper, subject to environmental deterioration and inspired by societal crisis. Due to the immensity of his pieces, and the noncommercial nature of his subject matter and materials, Beck’s career as a professional artist has not taken the traditional gallery exhibition path. “I’ve worked mostly with nonprofit organizations to make my work, and this noncommercial expectation has been crucial to my development as an artist. I’ve been able to build large-scale work because I’ve been able to make relationships with people and industries who are interested in helping make the work possible. Many institutions and residency programs have supported me with time, space and financial support to keep pursuing my investigations.” For the layman, these investigations may be difficult to apprehend, but in Beck’s own words: “I want to overwhelm [the audience’s] visual field, and I want to give them something grounded, something material that they can touch or smell that connects to an idea—you could call it spirituality—beyond that material, touchable thing. I do this by using vast quantities of fragile materials, often just before they are discarded. I organize and make visual indexes of chaos, violence and loss.” Beck is a resident artist at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn and Dieu Donné Papermill on W. 36th Street in Manhattan. His current collaborations include a “score for sculpture” with choreographer Will Rawls and an installation with performance artist John Kelly.—BENTON OLIVER
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TENNIS ACE Michael McNulty III (A&S ’73, L ’76) was inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in March. He was recognized for his years of dedication to promoting and growing tennis throughout the state and the region. McNulty currently serves on the national board of the United States Tennis Association. He is married to Mary Plauche McNulty (NC ’74).
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the ownership and operation of neighborhood shopping centers in the Southeast. MICHAEL E. GERINGER (A&S ’71, B ’73) is an investment adviser representative with Horter Investment Management. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.
The University of Florida School of Art and Art History announced that it will rename Focus Gallery in honor of GARY R. LIBBY (G ’71). The dedication will take place in the fall. Libby is director emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida. One of his books, Cuba: A History in Art, has a new edition this year. J. MICHAEL VERON (A&S ’72, L ’74) published an article entitled “In Search of Bigfoot: Confronting Oil and Gas Mythology in Louisiana,” in the Louisiana Law Review (2015). Veron made a presentation on legal issues pertaining to golf at the annual meeting of the American Society of Golf Course Architects at Torrey Pines, California, in March. His first novel, The Greatest Player Who Never Lived, published in 2000, was reissued by the Classics of Golf and his second novel, The Greatest Course That Never Was, published in 2001, will be reissued by the Classics of Golf series late this year. He plans to have a new golf novel released in late 2015 or early 2016. JASON COLLINS (A&S ’75, M ’80), a retired obstetrician, spent his career researching and working to prevent stillbirths related to umbilical cord accidents (UCA). Collins believes it is possible to reduce the number of UCA stillbirths in the United States by half. Collins’ book, Silent Risk: Issues About the Human Umbilical Cord, details the indications of fetal distress that often point to umbilical cord complications.
In January, THOMAS LEE (E ’76), an aviation enthusiast, set a world record for flying on the most inaugural commercial flights of new aircraft types when he flew on the newest Airbus A350’s maiden voyage from Doha, Qatar, to Frankfurt, Germany. Lee works for Zodiac Aerospace, where he is director of marketing and innovation for the galleys and equipment segment in the company’s Huntington Beach, California, office. Lee holds approximately 30 U.S. and international patents. 1980s CRAIG GLIDDEN (A&S ’80) was appointed general counsel of General Motors Co. in March. He previously was chief legal officer at LyondellBasell Industries, a chemicals company. Glidden helped steer LyondellBasell out of bankruptcy and through restructuring.
North Korea, to say they are the only Tulane University alumni there. The Schaffters have been there with UNICEF, which is helping the Ministry of Education learn new teaching methodologies, since September. North Korea will be the couple’s last posting with UNICEF before they retire in about two years to Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. The American Board of Industrial Hygiene selected ROY RANDO (PHTM ’83, ’87) to receive the first ABIH Impact Award at the 2015 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in June. Rando is a professor of global environmental health sciences at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Rando was nominated by the association’s Deep South section, an effort spearheaded by JOE TUDOR (PHTM ’11). SCOTT M. RATCHICK (B ’83), a shareholder in the Atlanta office of Chamberlain Hrdlicka, is listed among Georgia Super Lawyers for 2015 in the practice area of business litigation. The Jazz Journalists Association named Michael G. White (G ’83), educator, historian, clarinetist and bandleader of Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band, a 2015 Jazz Hero. White holds the Rosa and Charles Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities of New Orleans Music and Culture at Xavier University. MATHEW S. ROSENGART (A&S ’84) was listed as one of Variety’s Legal Impact Report honorees for 2015. Rosengart is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig in the firm’s litigation practice with a focus on commercial, media and entertainment, and white-collar defense litigation. Millibeth Currie (NC ’89) is one of 17 educators from around the world to win an inaugural Digital Innovation in Learning Award from EdSurge and Digital Promise. Currie was recognized for her exemplary practices in using technology to support learning and for founding Women in Charge: Engineering Women’s Lives, an organization that exposes female students to science, technology, engineering and math.
1990s ROBIN J. HICKSON (B ’90) announces the publication of Project Management for Mining, authored with Terry Owen. The book is now available on Amazon and eBay as well as from the publisher, The Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. Hickson, principal with Robin J. Hickson in Phoenix, reports that the book is the society’s best seller.
BRUCE LANDY (M ’80) and his wife, Colleen, met up with BOB KIDD (M ’80) and his wife, Judy, and BEETA HEBERT (M ’80) in New Orleans last November for dinner and socializing.
MICHAEL D. RUBENSTEIN (B ’90, L ’93) was elected to the board of directors of Liskow & Lewis, where he has practiced law since 1995. Rubenstein, who practices in the areas of bankruptcy, business litigation and government investigations, will serve as president of the Tulane Alumni Association for 2015–16.
DIANA D. SCHAFFTER (PHTM ’82) and TIM SCHAFFTER (PHTM ’82) write from Pyongyang,
ROB WALKER (A ’92) was chosen as an American Institute of Architects regional representative
for the Gulf States region for 2015–17. He is principal of Rob Walker Architects in Birmingham, Alabama. In February, PAUL HENDERSON (L ’93) moderated a discussion at San Francisco State University with U.S. Congressman John Lewis about the current state of civil rights and the future regarding important court decisions. Henderson works as the deputy chief of staff and public safety director for the mayor of San Francisco. MICHAEL HERRMANN (E ’93) was promoted from senior project executive to principal of O’Donnell & Naccarato, a structural engineering firm based in Philadelphia. Herrmann joined the firm as a summer intern in 1992 and now manages key projects and supports the firm’s business development efforts. DARREN ZEMNICK (B ’93) is the area human resources director of the hospitality division for Howard Hughes Corp. He previously was with the Four Seasons, where he led the transition of the resort to a Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club and Spa in 2010. The resort recently obtained a Forbes 5-star rating. NIMROD T. CHAPEL JR. (L ’95) was featured in the “Best of CLE Spotlight” for his outstanding leadership and dedication to upholding the principles of the Missouri State Bar. Chapel is a trial lawyer with The Chapel Law Group, practicing in Jefferson City and Kansas City, Missouri. He defends the rights of workers and their families in court and in administrative hearings. ERIC KRONBERG (A ’97), co-founder of Kronberg Wall, an architecture, planning and development firm in Atlanta, received a 2015 Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation from the Louisiana Landmarks Society for the New Orleans Jazz Market, home of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Additionally, Iberville Offsites, a restoration project of more than 100 dwellings in the heart of Tremé, 7th Ward and Central City, received the National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. CAROL MILLER (L ’97) announces the publication of her new mystery, A Nip of Murder, by St. Martin’s Press. AMY DAILEY (PHTM ’98) was offered a tenured position at Gettysburg College, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the health sciences department. Dailey, a former epidemiologist, joined the college in 2010. She teaches upper-level courses in public health, global health and epidemiology. Dailey hopes to expand the public health offerings and continue her communitybased research into the availability of health resources. J. NELSON STEWART V (TC ’99), the head football coach at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, was named the Tony Reginelli Chair for Physical Education. Stewart has been a
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Dispatch Zachary Richard teacher and coach at Newman School, his alma mater, for 16 years. The chair is named in honor of ANTHONY REGINELLI (A&S ’57), long-time football coach and physical education teacher at Newman School, at the suggestion of DARRYL BERGER (L ’72), who also is a Newman School alumnus. Stewart and his wife, Emily, have three children: a daughter, Taylor, and twins John Nelson and Caroline. 2000s DEBORAH CUNNINGHAM BURST (UC ’03) is an award-winning writer and photographer. Her book Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo was published in 2014. MEREDITH BRIZENDINE CASE (NC ’04) and E. GLENN CASE (E ’05) welcomed Kinsley Joye on July 25, 2014. The baby joins siblings Greyson, 4, and Maddox, 2. The family resides in Seattle.
MARK MORRIS (SW ’05) announces publication of his book, Living Yes: A Handbook for Being, in March. In addition to the book, Living Yes is a personal practice and a series of planned seminars. The result of Living Yes is a peaceful mind and a fulfilling life. Morris is certified in cognitive behavioral therapy by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Learn more at www.livingyes.org. GREGORY CORDER (’07) earned his PhD in neurophysiology from the University of Kentucky in 2013. He is a postdoctoral fellow in the Scherrer Lab at the Stanford School of Medicine, Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences–Anesthesia. His research has been featured on the cover of Science and articles about his work have been published around the world. Corder lives in Palo Alto, California. KIRA McALLISTER (NC ’07) and Joseph Norris welcomed daughter Evangeline Chase on Jan. 15, 2015. CAITLIN WILLIAMS (NC ’08) is the baby’s godmother. KATHERINE McCOY (B ’07) has joined McGlinchey Stafford’s business development team as communications and public relations manager; she works in the firm’s New Orleans office. McCoy has nearly eight years of experience in legal marketing, working previously at Liskow & Lewis and Jones Walker. KATHY “KAT” A. RITO (L ’07) was named partner in the law firm Curry & Friend in New Orleans. Rito practices primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and healthcare defense. RICHARD NERE (A&S ’08) will receive a master’s degree from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management of Carnegie Mellon University.
courtesy of zachary richard
MIKE STRECKER (G ’04) and his wife, Jillian, announce the birth of Joseph Isaac on Dec. 23, 2014. The baby joins his older brother, Stephen, 5. Strecker, executive director of public relations at Tulane University, enjoys performing standup comedy at local clubs.
TROUBADOUR EXTRAORDINAIRE Following an erroneous newspaper notice, Mark Twain once observed that “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” With the release of a new album by celebrated Cajun musician Zachary Richard (A&S ’71), the same could be said of the French language in Louisiana. A native of Lafayette, Richard has been instrumental in championing Louisiana music for over 40 years. With more than 20 albums in both French and English under his belt as well as three collections of poetry, Richard is a living embodiment of a Provençal-style troubadour, touring and winning awards in the United States and Canada. Known for his role in a Cajun revival in the 1970s, Richard frequently incorporates contemporary rhythms and instrumentation into his work, an approach that keeps his music fresh and relevant. Writing for the Music Rising at Tulane website, musicologist Ben Sandmel observes, “Young bands including FeuFollet, the Lost Bayou Ramblers and the Pine Leaf Boys reprise the duality of traditionalism and modernism first explored by Zachary Richard and Michael Doucet.” Tulane music historian Bruce Raeburn calls Richard “a gifted poet, singer/songwriter, guitarist and accordian player, [and] one of the most innovative Cajun musical artists of the past three decades.” Richard’s latest album, J’ai une chanson dans mon cœur (2015), is a collaboration with schoolchildren in Lafayette sponsored by the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques. Featuring 10 songs in a variety of genres—ballad, Zydeco and even rap— the album is a fun, funky listen, perfect for a drive down to Bayou Teche or Grand Isle. More than that, however, the album is also a testament to the power of music to educate, inspire and instill pride in the region’s heritage. Songs like “Je t’aime ma Louisiane” and the catchy, foot-tapping “Paul Breaux Two-Step” (named after a prominent African-American educator in Lafayette) speak of the students’ deep love for their home state’s history and culture. “On parle le français avec nos ami,” Richard sings on the latter, “Le français sera toujours une autre vie.” Greatly exaggerated, indeed.—Benjamin Morris
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Alumni Awards The annual Tulane Alumni Association Awards on April 18, 2015, at the National World War II Museum U.S. Freedom Pavilion in New Orleans recognized alumni for their hard work and dedication to Tulane University and their communities.
Nere hopes to move to New York to work in the consulting industry and pursue his proclivity for running Monte Carlo Simulations.
Brothers LOUIS M. FREEMAN (B ’63) and RICHARD W. FREEMAN JR. (B ’60), both emeritus members of the Board of Tulane, received the Dermot McGlinchey Lifetime Achievement Award. The A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane is named in honor of their grandfather. Louis Freeman is former chair of the Endowment Management Committee, a trustee of the E.V. Richards Foundation and former president of the Howard Memorial Library Association. Freeman was elected vice president of the Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in 1970. Among his many contributions to the community, Freeman serves as chair of the board of trustees for the National World War II Museum and is chairman of the Ella West Freeman Foundation. Richard Freeman Jr. succeeded his father as president of the Louisiana CocaCola Bottling Co. in 1970 and held that position until 1986. He has served on the boards of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Bureau of Governmental Research, the Metropolitan New Orleans Safety Council, Ochsner Clinic Foundation and Community Hospitals. He chairs the RosaMary Foundation and is a trustee and former chair of the Ella West Freeman Foundation.
2010s In April, BENJAMIN D. CAPPIELLO (’10), the scientific founder behind Bioceptive, received one of six awards given by the Louisiana chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth to standouts in the business community. The startup is working to make intrauterine birth control devices and other women's health products easier and safer to insert. Bioceptive has raised $3 million in capital and seeks to launch its products worldwide.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award went to DOUGLAS G. HURLEY (E ’88), a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, who is a NASA astronaut, test pilot and fighter pilot with a military career that spans almost 25 years. Hurley was a “Viking” with Marine All Weather Fight/Attack Squadron 225 where he was an F/A-18 fighter pilot. He was the pilot on two space shuttle missions to the International Space Station. MARSHA S. FIRESTONE (NC ’65) received the Professional Achievement Award. Firestone is founder and president of the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization, dedicated to increasing access to business opportunities for women’s enterprises. She also founded the Women Presidents’ Organization, a peer advisory organization for women who own multimillion-dollar businesses. The Scott Cowen Service Award was presented to ANTHONY “TONY” RECASNER (E ’86, ’88), chief executive officer of Agenda for Children. Recasner has been involved in public education reform and other efforts to improve the lives of children and families for more than 20 years. Previously, Recasner was president of FirstLine Schools, a charter school management organization.
PHOTOS BY GUILLERMO CABRERA-ROJO
EDWARD J. CRAWFORD IV (B ’08), who received the newly named Robert V. Tessaro Young Alumnus Volunteer Award (see page 37), served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. He joined the Navy and served in Afghanistan, earning the Bronze Star. He remains a U.S. Naval Reserve intelligence officer and is the veteran recruitment captain at Goldman Sachs. He founded the Freeman 50, a group of young alumni whose aim is to support the A. B. Freeman School of Business. Crawford won the Tulane Business Plan competition in 2008. The winner of the Outstanding Alumni Club of the Year Award was the Tulane Club of Washington, D.C.
Louisiana Impact Did you know that Tulane University provides healthcare services at 58 sites in 22 parishes of Louisiana? Or that the university offers 10,600 jobs with an economic benefit of $920 million? And that the value of community service performed by Tulane volunteers was estimated at $5.4 million in 2013? To increase the visibility across the state of the university’s contributions to Louisiana, the Tulane Office of Government and Community Relations and the Office of Alumni Affairs have created the Wave Network, so alumni, students, parents and friends can speak out for Tulane University around the state. Sign up to be part of the Wave Network by visiting cqrcengage.com/Tulane.
JESSICA HAYES (’11) and RACHEL RYLEY (’14) received National Science Foundation fellowships for graduate study in economics. Since graduation, Hayes has been working for the Federal Reserve System’s board of governors, where her projects have included research on intra-household credit utilization. Hayes will go to UCLA for graduate study. Since graduation, Ryley has been working for Americorps as a member of the City Year Corps in Philadelphia, where she has been helping high school students with their mathematics literacy and their general “life skills.” Ryley will pursue her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. DEREK BURDETTE (’12) received the Association for Latin American Art’s biennial award for the best dissertation in Latin American art history, 2012–2014, for “Miraculous Crucifixes and Colonial Mexican Society: The Artistic, Devotional and Political Lives of Mexico City’s Early-Colonial Cristos.” Burdette is a visiting assistant professor at Swarthmore College. BETHANY VAN KAMPEN (SW ’13, L ’14) is a Lindy Boggs Congressional Fellow working with Sen. Barbara Boxer of California in Washington, D.C. Boggs Fellowships, named for the late LINDY CLAIBORNE BOGGS (NC ’35), go to graduate students with a proven commitment to equity for women. Boggs fellows gain practical policymaking experience and graduate credit as they work from January to August as Congressional legislative aides. The program is sponsored by the Newcomb College Institute at Tulane through Women’s Policy, Inc. Van Kampen plans to stay on Capitol Hill for another year or two, and then hopes to work for a women’s rights organization doing policy work. BRADLEY H. PACE (L ’14) joined Hinshaw & Culbertson in the firm’s expanded San Francisco office as an associate. The new group is launching the firm’s formal maritime practice. Pace focuses his practice in insurance services, with particular emphasis in maritime and aviation law. MORGAN WEBER (’14) is a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania, teaching mathematics to students between ages 16 and 20 in Kongwa, Dodoma. In addition to teaching, Weber has been working on a few secondary projects, including starting an after-school math and English club.
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F A R E W E L L Annabelle Robertson Miester (A&S ’34, G ’37) of New Orleans on Dec. 28, 2014.
Betty Wolbrette Akchin (NC ’46) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Dec. 26, 2014.
Charles T. McCarthy Jr. (A&S ’50, M ’53) of Tyler, Texas, on Feb. 1, 2015.
Roma de Lucas Gibson (B ’36) of New Orleans on Jan. 6, 2015.
Robert R. Gillespy Jr. (M ’47) of Jacksonville, Florida, on Jan. 8, 2015.
Wilson A. Reeves (G ’50) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Jan. 22, 2015.
Kate Chamness Johnson (NC ’37) of Cary, North Carolina, on June 11, 2014.
Dolores Kelley Lozes (NC ’47, G ’49) of New Orleans on March 7, 2015.
William B. Reily III (A&S ’50) of New Orleans on Jan. 5, 2015.
Roswell J. Weil (B ’37) of New Orleans on March 15, 2015.
Rena Weiner Shankman (NC ’47, SW ’50) of Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 22, 2015.
Hanlon B. DuBose II (A&S ’51) of Paradise Valley, Arizona, on Dec. 27, 2014.
Paul N. Wogan (A&S ’37) of Slidell, Louisiana, on Dec. 27, 2014.
Irvin S. Smith (L ’47) of New Orleans on Jan. 29, 2015.
Robert Estes (E ’51) of Greenville, South Carolina, on Feb. 9, 2015.
Charlotte Hawkins Fremaux (NC ’38) of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, on March 4, 2015.
Wilmer J. Thomas Jr. (A&S ’47, L ’50) of Salisbury, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2014.
Zoe-Love Govern Griffing (UC ’51) of Carriere, Mississippi, on March 12, 2015.
William D. Futch (A&S ’38, M ’42) of St. Petersburg, Florida, on Feb. 25, 2015.
Susan Moore Gilly (NC ’48) of New Orleans on Jan. 15, 2015.
Sarah Jane Smith Laramore (NC ’51) of Keithville, Louisiana, on Dec. 12, 2014.
Mary Shaw Guider (NC ’38) of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on Jan. 20, 2015.
E.B. Holbrook Jr. (A&S ’48, L ’50) of Durham, North Carolina, on Jan. 5, 2015.
John S. Anderson (PHTM ’52) of Helena, Montana, on Jan. 20, 2015.
J.D. Talbot (M ’38) of Shreveport, Louisiana, on Jan. 9, 2015.
William G. Odom (A&S ’48, M ’51) of Carmel, California, on Dec. 6, 2014.
Charles T. Hamm (B ’52) of Ardmore, Oklahoma, on Jan. 25, 2015.
Betty Kreckel Rordam (NC ’40) of Tenants Harbor, Maine, on Jan. 7, 2015.
Friedrich E. Stoll (A&S ’48) of Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Dec. 16, 2014.
Yolanda O’Campo Rivera (NC ’52) of Kenner, Louisiana, on March 19, 2015.
Aline Loewenberg Rothschild (NC ’40, SW ’43) of New Orleans on March 10, 2015.
Priscilla A. Wells (NC ’48, M ’53) of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, on Nov. 3, 2014.
Joseph D. Shinn (B ’52) of Lonoke, Arkansas, on Jan. 29, 2015.
Renee Miester Cable (NC ’41) of New Orleans on March 10, 2015.
Dominick M. Lago (A&S ’49) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 27, 2015.
Patsy Weil Collat (NC ’53) of Mountain Brook, Alabama, on Jan. 28, 2015.
Lloyd P. Fadrique (E ’41) of Houston on March 1, 2015.
John D. Mailhes Jr. (B ’49) of Monroe, Louisiana, on Jan. 15, 2015.
Jo Ann Paris Leavell (NC ’53) of Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 6, 2015.
Erwin Gant Burhoe (NC ’42) of Swannanoa, North Carolina, on Jan. 3, 2015.
Robert D. Munch Sr. (B ’49, ’50) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Dec. 26, 2014.
Edward W. Phillips Jr. (M ’53) of Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Feb. 21, 2015.
Alice Kinabrew Jamieson (NC ’42) of San Mateo, California, on Jan. 13, 2015.
David H. Rust (E ’49) of Woodville, Texas, on Dec. 25, 2014.
Richard J. Brennan Sr. (B ’55) of New Orleans on March 14, 2015.
Lester J. Reed (A&S ’43) of Austin, Texas, on Jan. 14, 2015.
Donald R. Scherer (A&S ’49) of Houston on Jan. 31, 2015.
Thomas W. Nielsen Sr. (SW ’55) of New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2015.
Herbert F. Bennerfield Jr. (A&S ’44, G ’53) of Gretna, Louisiana, on March 3, 2015.
Walter J. Suthon III (A&S ’49, L ’51) of New Orleans on Dec. 27, 2014.
Arthur O. Sneed Sr. (PHTM ’55) of Jennings, Louisiana, on Feb. 7, 2015.
Ruth Collins Stewart (UC ’44) of New Orleans on Dec. 28, 2014.
Alice Voss (NC ’49) of Hinsdale, Illinois, on Jan. 8, 2015.
Sylvia Roberts (L ’56) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Dec. 29, 2014.
Yvonne Duckworth Williams (B ’44) of Jackson, Mississippi, on Feb. 19, 2015.
John S. Fischer (A&S ’50) of Houston on Dec. 23, 2014.
Warren J. Brechtel (B ’57) of Covington, Louisiana, on Feb. 27, 2015.
Walter F. Allaire (E ’45) of Sanibel, Florida, on Jan. 19, 2015.
Elliott J. Hebert (A&S ’50) of Kennesaw, Georgia, on March 13, 2015.
A.M. Maher Jr. (A&S ’57) of Annapolis, Maryland, on Nov. 29, 2014.
Sydney Gamlen Jr. (E ’45) of Rochester, New York, on Dec. 12, 2014.
Michael J. Hirsch (A&S ’50) of Dallas on Feb. 27, 2015.
William L. Mattison (A ’57) of Monroe, Louisiana, on March 14, 2015.
Audrey Phillips Kahane (SW ’45) of Beverly Hills, California, on Oct. 9, 2014.
Charles W. Kelley (A&S ’50, M ’53) of Magnolia, Arkansas, on Jan. 13, 2015.
William L. White (A&S ’57, M ’60) of Gaithersburg, Maryland, on Dec. 28, 2014.
Andrew P. Whitman (E ’45) of Grand Coteau, Louisiana, on Jan. 7, 2015.
Robert E. Levy (A&S ’50) of Laredo, Texas, on April 8, 2014.
Nikolai A. Alexandrenko (G ’58, ’70) of Pineville, Louisiana, on Feb. 3, 2015.
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ADMISSION DIRECTOR DURING CHANGING TIMES Edward A. Rogge died on April 3, 2015, in Savannah, Georgia. He came to Tulane in 1958 to teach theater and speech and then served as director of admission during the integration of the university in the 1960s. After he left the admission office in 1975, he again joined the faculty as associate professor in the communication department.
F A R E W E L L Richard R. Baron (B ’58) of Lafayette, Louisiana, on Jan. 17, 2015.
Mary House (SW ’64) of Vinemont, Alabama, on Jan. 1, 2015.
Jerome H. Zimmerman (G ’68) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on Feb. 20, 2015.
Eugene F. Eblen Jr. (A&S ’58) of Diamondhead, Mississippi, on March 20, 2015.
George A. Mitchell (A&S ’64) of Miami on Oct. 21, 2014.
Max Whaley (B ’69) of Stone Mountain, Georgia, on Jan. 20, 2015.
Raymond J. Franz Sr. (E ’58, B ’69) of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on March 14, 2015.
J. Sylvestre (NC ’64, G ’70) of Mobile, Alabama, on Dec. 21, 2014.
Elizabeth Burg (G ’70) of Los Angeles on Jan. 4, 2015.
Joseph R. Patterson (M ’58) of Kissimmee, Florida, on Feb. 5, 2015.
Robert A. Ullrich (B ’64) of Jamestown, Rhode Island, on Jan. 14, 2015.
Emma Frisbie (SW ’70) of Cuero, Texas, on Jan. 6, 2015.
Albert R. Boelte Jr. (A&S ’59) of Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 2, 2015.
Mary Arroyo (SW ’65) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 23, 2015.
Michael J. Higgins (A&S ’70, M ’74) of Wasilla, Alaska, on March 24, 2014.
John E. Green (M ’59) of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on March 17, 2015.
Joseph V. Attanasio Jr. (A&S ’65) of Anaheim, California, on Oct. 26, 2014.
Ernest L. Parker (A&S ’70) of Jennings, Louisiana, on Jan. 23, 2015.
Ronald L. Mann (E ’59) of Katy, Texas, on Feb. 21, 2015.
Marjorie Durand (UC ’65, SW ’67) of New Orleans on Feb. 20, 2015.
Patricia St. Julien Bennett (G ’71) of Stafford, Texas, on Feb. 13, 2015.
David J. Russin (A&S ’59, M ’62) of Miami Beach, Florida, on Feb. 18, 2015.
Charles R. Hand (M ’65) of Philadelphia, Mississippi, on April 1, 2014.
Robert C. Hastings Sr. (G ’71) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Dec. 15, 2014.
Betty Pepper Scarborough (G ’59) of Starkville, Mississippi, on Feb. 12, 2015.
Diane Manget (NC ’65) of New Orleans on Jan. 11, 2015.
Frank Petrusak (G ’71, ’73) of North Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 13, 2015.
Philip T. Frank (A ’60) of Hayward, California, on Dec. 11, 2014.
Sheila McCann (UC ’65) of San Antonio on March 6, 2015.
Eric M. Rockstroh (A&S ’71) of San Antonio on Jan. 6, 2015.
Remy F. Gross II (A&S ’60, L ’62) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Feb. 23, 2015.
Jamie E. Thomerson (G ’65) of Austin, Texas, on January 4, 2015.
Vernon D. Seifert (PHTM ’71) of San Marcos, Texas, on Feb. 13, 2014.
Thomas L. Hardee Jr. (M ’60) of Kerrville, Texas, on Dec. 14, 2014.
W.E. Anderson (PHTM ’66) of Roanoke, Virginia, on Jan. 7, 2015.
E.D. Simshauser (B ’71) of Springfield, Ohio, on July 30, 2014.
Leon L. Marks Jr. (UC ’60) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 15, 2015.
Albert E. Fant III (M ’66) of Gulfport, Mississippi, on Nov. 12, 2014.
David P. Bellamy (A&S ’72) of Miami on March 5, 2015.
Roland F. Tifft (A&S ’60) of Bonita Springs, Florida, on Jan. 23, 2015.
Carol Turnbull Hellman (NC ’67, SW ’71) of Fairhope, Alabama, on March 13, 2015.
Beryl McSmith (SW ’72) of Slidell, Louisiana, on Feb. 22, 2015.
Earline Benson (SW ’61) of Houston on Dec. 27, 2014.
John O. Oberpriller (G ’67) of Eagan, Minnesota, on Jan. 4, 2015.
Melvin J. Schultz (M ’72) of Metairie, Louisiana, on March 3, 2014.
William F. Colomb Sr. (UC ’61) of Covington, Louisiana, on Feb. 15, 2015.
Mary Luck Weight (NC ’67) of High Springs, Florida, on Jan. 23, 2015.
Thomas F. Wright (G ’72) of Asheville, North Carolina, on Sep. 21, 2014.
Grad L. Flick (A&S ’61) of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on Jan. 9, 2015.
Ilmars Birznieks (G ’68) of West Columbia, South Carolina, on Jan. 31, 2015.
James E. Changus (M ’73) of Boca Raton, Florida, on Feb. 18, 2014.
Malcolm A. Meyn Jr. (A&S ’61, M ’65) of Cincinnati on Nov. 17, 2014.
Linda Ford Eastman (G ’68) of Poquoson, Virginia, on Jan. 14, 2015.
Torger G. Omdahl (L ’73) of Iron River, Michigan, on Dec. 1, 2014.
Patrick C. McKinney (E ’62) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Jan. 16, 2015.
Austin T. Fitzjarrell Sr. (UC ’68, G ’71, ’78) of New Orleans on Feb. 2, 2015.
Dean V. Sweitzer (A&S ’73, PHTM ’76) of Naperville, Illinois, on Feb. 4, 2015.
Arthur Gaidamovics (UC ’63, G ’68) of Slidell, Louisiana, on March 2, 2015.
Judith Michael (SW ’68) of Belden, Mississippi, on March 15, 2015.
Thomas J. Assad Jr. (A&S ’74, G ’75) of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, on Jan. 8, 2015.
Charles B. Peatross (B ’63, L ’64) of Shreveport, Louisiana, on Jan. 28, 2015.
Jean Colville Oberpriller (G ’68) of Eagan, Minnesota, on Dec. 23, 2014.
Mary Carpenter (SW ’74) of Mechanicsville, Virginia, on Jan. 7, 2015.
Oraien E. Catledge Jr. (SW ’64) of Decatur, Georgia, on Jan. 1, 2015.
Joseph M. Viles (G ’68, ’69) of Metairie, Louisiana, on April 8, 2014.
Robert M. Fell (A&S ’74) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 28, 2015.
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Tribute Robert V. Tessaro Marta Kempton (SW ’74) of Oakland, California, on June 9, 2014. August E. Doskey (A&S ’75, B ’78) of Dallas on Jan. 15, 2015. Rosemary Jesclard (G ’78) of New Orleans on March 15, 2015. Daniel D. Kane (A&S ’78) of Suwanee, Georgia, on Feb. 2, 2015. Scott M. Williamson (L ’78) of Poulsbo, Washington, on Feb. 26, 2015. Elizabeth Hammack (NC ’80) of Dallas on March 11, 2015. Elaine Peden Fleissner (B ’81) of Columbia, Tennessee, on Jan. 15, 2015.
John P. Caffrey (A&S ’82) of Dallas on Nov. 29, 2014. Evelyn Eddleman Gordinier (G ’82) of Louisville, Kentucky, on March 15, 2015. Vicki Kaplan Haberman (L ’84) of New York on Aug. 17, 2014. John M. Edwards (A&S ’86) of New York on Aug. 21, 2014. Mark B. McMurry (L ’87) of Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 18, 2014. Ellen Loeb Gandle (M ’89) of New Orleans on Feb. 27, 2015. Landry C. Smith III (PHTM ’91) of Stone Mountain, Georgia, on Dec. 24, 2014. Marjorie Marice (UC ’93) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Jan. 18, 2015. Whitney Norris (NC ’94) of Vestavia, Alabama, on Feb. 15, 2014. Angela Runnels Andrade (B ’96) of Tool, Texas, on March 13, 2015. Brian A. Simmons (TC ’96) of Houston on Feb. 20, 2015. David L. Epstein (PHTM ’01) of Bahama, North Carolina, on March 4, 2014. Jacobus P. Joubert (L ’02) of Alexandria, Virginia, on March 10, 2014. Patrick A. Brooks (UC ’04) of Tougaloo, Mississippi, on Jan. 12, 2015.
COURTESY OF THE TESSARO FAMILY
Catherine Pacyna (SW ’81) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Feb. 27, 2015.
EVERYBODY’S BEST FRIEND Robert Victor Tessaro (UC ’98) a loyal Tulanian through and through, sadly passed from this world on Feb. 12, 2015, at the young age of 38. Affectionately known by his family and friends as Rob or Robbie, he was a proud native of Fort Lee, New Jersey. In true storybook fashion, he met his beloved wife Stacey Tessaro (née Frank, NC ’98) on their move-in day freshman year. One of my regrets is not having known Rob while at Tulane, although we overlapped for three of our undergraduate years. I often joked with him that had we known each other in school, my days at Tulane would’ve been the best five years of my life (and I’m not an architect)! Instead, I had the great pleasure and privilege of knowing Rob post-Tulane when we both became active in Tulane Alumni Association’s (TAA) New York Club. Rob’s passion and enthusiasm for all things Tulane (especially athletics) inspired many of us to become TAA leaders in New York as well as later on in Washington, D.C., when Rob and Stacey moved there. As one of our good friends simply put it, if Rob was at an event, you knew it was going to be a good time. In fact, one of my fondest memories is celebrating Rob and Stacey’s wedding with so many of our friends in the French Quarter. It was an amazing day capped off by a second-line that makes me smile just thinking about it. In 2004, Rob was honored by TAA for his leadership as the Young Alumnus Volunteer of the Year. And this past April, the TAA Board voted to rename the award the Robert V. Tessaro Young Alumnus Volunteer Award to recognize the rich legacy Rob created. Professionally, Rob was passionate about keeping children safe from guns, violence and bullying, and he was successful in implementing many changes as the director of law enforcement relations for the Brady Center Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. His efforts saved many lives and someday Rob’s young daughter, Zoe, will read about all the great things her daddy did. Fittingly, Rob was laid to rest on Feb. 17 this year—Mardi Gras. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss Robert Tessaro, but I am forever grateful to have called him my very close friend during the many days of laughter that we shared. —Dan O’Connor (TC ’97). Dan O’Connor is a past president of the Tulane Alumni Association. He is a director of institutional partnerships for CFA Institute in New York.
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annual new york mardi
Beads on Broadway is a unique gathering created to promote of networking opportunit tri-state alumni, parents and friends From a modest gathering ies while generating support for Tulane. in 2009 of just over 700 last year, Beads on Broadway continues 100 to an enthusiastic group of over Tulane’s New York to be a galvanizin Regional Office g force for Tulane. is committed that create opportunit ies for alumni, parents, to providing programs and initiatives and support Tulane students and friends throughout the year. to network, engage The office engagement, career services and fundraisin focuses primarily on constituenc y g by connecting groups of similar individuals and interests to support the mission of Tulane.
It’s no stretch to say that The Meters singlehandedly defined New Orleans funk. Performin and recording original g music throughout half of the ’60s and the latter into the ’70s, this seminal group laid the foundation for what is now a ubiquitous genre and have influenced countless funk musicians with their earthy, down-home style. The original Meters lineup featured keyboardist and Art Neville, drummer vocalist Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, and bassist George Jr. The Meters broke Porter up in 1977, and all of their members went on to find significant success elsewhere in the music industry. The Meter Men first performed as a trio on but due to each member’s major stages in 2009 commitments to projects, time would other not permit them to continue The Meter Men, until recently.
In 2012, the idea of playing as The Meter Men was revisited by Modeliste, Nocentelli and Porter, Jr. but this time around, they wanted to feature special guest keyboardists. Tonight, The Meter Men featuring Ivan Neville take the stage for our 2015 Beads on Broadway .
W A V E M A K E R S
Beads on Broadway
Carnival new york city
carnival 2015 The 7th annual Mardi Gras Gala, Beads on Broadway, was held April 14, 2015, at Pier 61 in New York City and raised more than $250,000 to support Tulane. Over 400 people came to enjoy dinner, dancing and the music of The Meter Men featuring Ivan Neville.
Commitment to Entrepreneurism
Namesake for Center cheryl gerber
Albert Lepage listens intently during the Council for Entrepreneurs Gala at the Audubon Tea Room on April 16, 2015.
“There is a real need for research in the best practices of entrepreneurship and growing a business.” —Albert Lepage The Albert Lepage Foundation has committed $12.5 million to the A. B. Freeman School of Business to establish a new center dedicated to the study, teaching and practice of entrepreneurship.
The Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will oversee the Freeman School’s offerings in entrepreneurship, including coursework, academic research and student programing. The center will also have a significant focus on community outreach, developing new programs to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem and address unmet business needs in New Orleans and the Gulf South. “There is a real need for research in the best practices of entrepreneurship and growing a business,” said Lepage Foundation president Albert Lepage, the retired co-chairman of Lepage Bakeries and a 1971 MBA graduate of the Freeman School. “But it is also important to bring that expertise back into the wider community— both the underserved and well-served—to help entrepreneurs and innovators in New Orleans and the Gulf South achieve their goals and thrive.” A. B. Freeman School of Business dean Ira Solomon said, “Business leaders who are
successful recognize that economic and social advancements come from tackling issues with an entrepreneurial outlook and embracing innovation of all kinds. “We are so grateful for Albert’s generosity and vision in helping create what will become an even more vibrant hub for this philosophy at Freeman and the city of New Orleans.” The Freeman School’s existing Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship and the Tulane Family Business Center will continue their important work as segments within the Albert Lepage Center. Albert Lepage joined the family baking company after graduating from Tulane. He became president in 1978 and chairman in 1983. In 2012, Lepage Bakeries merged with Flowers Foods, and Lepage became co-chairman. He served until 2014 as chairman of Quality Bakers of America Cooperative, the licensor of Sunbeam Bread, and as treasurer of the American Bakers Association, the baking industry’s leading national organization. —Keith Brannon
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5/19/15 12:59 PM
LESSONS IN PHILANTHROPY This fall Tulane students may enroll in a new course, Philanthropy and Social Change, in which they will study philanthropy and ultimately allocate $50,000 to worthy New Orleans nonprofits. The Once Upon a Time Foundation, a Fort Worth–based organization, is funding the course as part of its program, The Philanthropy Lab, which supports philanthropy education at universities.
W A V E M A K E R S
Splendid Paul Tulane Society Ceremonious Occasion
The most generous benefactors of Tulane University are inducted into the Paul Tulane Society on March 18, 2015, at the Audubon Tea Room.
Gene Miller (A&S ’54, G ’59) counts his experience at Tulane University as one of the most important in his life, one that transformed a boy from a small town in the Midwest into a successful chemist and company chief. He was eager to return the favor to Tulane, endowing a professorship in honor of his mentor, Joseph Boyer. He left behind a town of only 150 to attend Tulane. “When I graduated from high school, my graduation present was the Korean War,” he joked. He noted that the conflict abroad provided strong incentive to keep his grades up as an undergraduate. He credits Boyer, his former Tulane chemistry professor, with encouraging his interest in organic chemistry and convincing him to attend graduate school. Tulane provided him with the fellowship that allowed him to complete his doctorate. Miller, along with his late wife, Lois Cullen Miller, was inducted into the Paul Tulane Society during a ceremony on March 18 at the Audubon Tea Room.
The Paul Tulane Society honors benefactors whose wide-ranging generosity has advanced programs, professorships and projects across the university.
Paul Tulane Society inductees “positively altered the trajectories of Tulane and countless students and professors for generations.” —Mike Fitts, Tulane President
In his remarks, Tulane President Mike Fitts referenced the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, where one man’s influence ripples across his community. Fitts noted that “the love and generosity” of the Paul Tulane Society inductees had “positively altered the trajectories of Tulane and countless students and professors for generations to come.” Along with the Millers, other inductees were Brad and Kylene Beers, Susan and James (A&S ’74, L ’77) McCulloch, Bernard Osher, Martha McCarty Wells (NC ’63) and The Marshall Heritage Foundation represented by E. Pierce Marshall Jr. (B ’90). Also, Joseph A. Breaux (A&S 1857, L 1859), Dr. Dean Baker Ellithorpe (M ’62), and Jane and Edward (A&S ’44) Simon were posthumously inducted into the society. “Giving to Tulane has been about giving to a group of people who believe, as Brad and I do, in the power of teaching and learning,” said Kylene Beers. “Our goal in giving to Tulane has been to be a small part of the mission of Tulane—to help prepare tomorrow’s leaders.” —Mary-Elizabeth Lough
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ANGUS LIND A 1966 graduate of Tulane, Angus Lind spent more than three decades as a columnist for The Times-Picayune.
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Legendary Raconteurs by Angus Lind
On a bluebird Sunday not long ago, I was pedaling my trusty Schwinn through Tulane’s St. Charles campus, a paradise of tree-filled quadrangles in between the academic stone castles that guard them. Sundays are primo cycling days there because of the relative absence of foot traffic, which allows you to dawdle and look around, daydreaming about college memories —in my case from long ago. Believe it or not, that includes academics. Yes, courses and professors. And when I have those nightmares as many people do about flunking this or that course, being late for an exam or not graduating, I fondly recall my adviser. That would be English professor Harvey Craft, who inherited me after the journalism department folded. He guided a reluctant English major through a minefield of courses I wasn’t interested in, and I am eternally grateful. Although I graduated from Tulane in 1966, the most memorable course I took was one I audited in the ’70s. Its catalog name was “New Orleans Up to Now,” the history of our city as seen through the eyes of two New Orleans legends who worked hard to keep the heritage, history and customs of New Orleans alive—Charles L. “Pie” Dufour and John Churchill Chase. But author-historian-critic-lecturer-columnist-sportswriter Dufour preferred to call it “New Orleans on the Half Shell,” a tip of the hat to his gastronomic tendencies as he was a member of the gourmet group La Societe des Escargots Orleanais, known as the “Snails.” The game plan called for cartoonist-author-historian-lecturer-wit Chase to give half the lectures on places in New Orleans with comments from Dufour. Dufour would give half the lectures on people, with Chase interjecting remarks. These two best friends were like two finely tuned boxers who had met before, sparring and jabbing each other with opinions and disagreements over historical events. What this witty point-counterpoint rhetoric did was enthrall and engage the class like no other I’d ever been in. There was a class in which Chase was describing how a bold move— a bluff—by the French colonizer Bienville in 1699 caused the British to turn back in the Mississippi, ultimately causing that point in the river to be named “English Turn.” And led to the founding of New Orleans in 1718 by the French. Then he digressed and flashed his wit: “I’m not supposed to talk about people. Mr. Dufour does that. I’m supposed to talk about places. But people get into places.” They did this for 25 years, from 1953–1978.
on the half shell John Churchill Chase and Charles “Pie” Dufour left a mark on the city of New Orleans with their storytelling, wit and artistic talents.
Both were charming, charismatic Renaissance men. Dufour was one of the most unusual Tulane graduates. He enrolled in 1921 but quit to go to work for newspapers. It would be 1953 before he returned to finish up a few courses for his bachelor’s degree. And in 1978, when he retired from his newspaper column, “Pie a la Mode,” Tulane gave him an honorary doctorate of humane letters. At the ceremony he said, “I want to show you that I’m making progress. It took me 32 years to get my first degree and only 25 years to get this one.” His fields of interest throughout his career varied widely. His passion for Tulane football and boxing was equaled by his love for opera, classical music and Carnival. As a colleague of his at the old States-Item afternoon newspaper for eight years, I can tell you he was fond of saying, “All my life I’ve contended that every reporter should be able to interview Jack Dempsey in the morning and Toscanini at night.” He was also prone to throw fake body blocks when he walked around the newsroom. Chase, a graduate of the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, was hired by The States, one of two afternoon newspapers in 1947. His chief character was “Mr. New Orleans” or “The Little Man,” who was always dressed in a 1890s long coat, top hat, bushy moustache and glasses. He did the first animated cartoons for WDSU-TV from 1964–74. He also created cartoon covers for college football programs, including those of Tulane for 20 years. Last year in its return to playing football on campus, the program covers done by artist Mark Andresen were a tribute to Chase, featuring his mischievous “Little Greenie.” A frequent visitor to Dufour’s office at the paper during my time, Chase was fond of saying, “The home team never lost on the cover, I know that.” In 1942, the department store D.H. Holmes was celebrating its centennial and asked Chase to draw a panel on the history of Holmes and New Orleans. His research led him to write the definitive, acclaimed book on street names: Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children. He lectured frequently on the subject and quipped, “I do not think in the whole history of New Orleans that anyone has ever spoken from the platform more about the same subject without either being elected or defeated in public office.” Chase and Dufour left their marks on this city, making us all the better for their efforts. (Dufour’s 20 books, 50 scholarly articles and 9,700 columns are part of Special Collections of the Tulane Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.)
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Tulane Magazine-June 2015