Tulane June 2017

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HELEN MIRREN WOWS Commencement 2017

RE: DEFINING NOLA New blends with old in new New Orleans

HEART OF GOLD Dr. Peter Gold seeks to end cycle of violence

THE JOYS OF BEING PEGGY WANG BuzzFeed’s editor follows her passion

JUNE 2017

Today’s and Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs

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LAUNCH PAD FOR ENTREPRENEURS The home of entrepreneurism at Tulane— the A. B. Freeman School of Business—is expanding. Slated for completion in January 2018, the Goldring/ Woldenberg Business Complex’s expansion project will add approximately 45,000 square feet to the Freeman School’s footprint. This summer, the metal structure of the expansion rises above the Navy ROTC Building and oak and palm trees on the uptown campus.

Ready for What Life Offers Front cover: Zoe Albert’s glitter and pearldecorated mortarboard, “The World Is My Oyster,” pays homage to her time at Tulane and the further adventures that await her. Albert earned a Bachelor of Science in ecology and evolutionary biology in May 2017. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

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P R E S I D E N T ’ S


Entrepreneurial Ethos


by Mike Fitts

In a serious emergency, even a minute delay in ambulance response can mean the difference between life and death. Cities across the world struggle to keep EMS response-time rates as low as possible. Factors like distance, traffic or weather cause delays in getting to a patient. Other times, some 911 callers don’t end up needing emergency medical service, diverting resources that could be used elsewhere. Ultimately, requests for emergency medical help far surpass the amount of on-hand resources a city has available. How can we maximize emergency resources across a city to ensure every patient receives fast, effective and necessary care? As usual, Tulane is on the forefront of finding solutions to critical questions. And one Tulane alum just came up with an idea that could get emergency medical care to more people, and cut the average ambulance response time to just five minutes. Benjamin Swig, a 2016 graduate of the Executive MBA program at the A. B. Freeman School of Business (and a 2009 graduate of the Tulane School of Public Health) and his co-founder, Justin Dangel, came up with an idea a little over a year ago. Justin described a system he witnessed during a trip to Israel, where, in an emergency, trained first responders in the area rushed to the scene until an ambulance arrived. These responders applied first aid and lifesaving maneuvers to the victim. Ben recognized the idea’s potential to engage and “to mobilize and empower community members who are trained and who want to help others.” He wondered if a similar model could work in the United States. Ben and his partner went to work, and after a year, they were ready


HEALTH CONNECTION Ready Responders, a service developed by Benjamin Swig (PHTM ’09, B ’16), offers a crossdisciplinary approach to getting trained health professionals to people in emergency situations.

to show off their finished product: Ready Re­ sponders. Their creation consists of three core components. In phase one, part-time emergency medical professionals receive a notification to their smartphone through an app when someone close by needs medical attention. Then, in phase two, the responders communicate with a nurse via an integrated hotline in the app. The nurse is able to assist with medical triage and common health guidelines, dispense advice, and answer any questions. Finally, in phase three, the patient and the responder connect to a nearby physician over a telehealth consultation to review the patient’s vitals and physical ailments. At this point, the physician can help determine if the patient requires emergency medical treatment—or, alternately, if a simple trip to a general practitioner would do the trick. This past March, the duo took their business to “The Big Idea” business competition, a crowdsourced pitch during the ninth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. There, they won the grand prize— beating out 19 other hopefuls to take home $25,000 in cash, as well as an additional $30,000 from the Peter Mayer Advertising firm, in a separate contest the same night. The trial phase of Ready Responders is set to go live in New Orleans within the next six to 12 months. Ultimately, Ben and Justin hope their model will impact health delivery systems all across the United States. Ben’s project is quintessentially Tulane. It merges business, public health, medicine, computer science, big data and more to create something that will directly change the world for the better. It’s this outward-facing ethos that makes Tulane and its alumni so unique. And it’s why our graduates become some of the strongest leaders and entrepreneurs in the nation. And we honor it every day in our groundbreaking research and tremendous community service efforts. AOL co-founder Steve Case believes New Orleans is “poised to re-emerge as one of the great startup cities in the country, maybe even the world.” I think he’s right. And, as Tulane continues to serve as a prime incubator of urban innovation in higher education, I know we are in the perfect position to help lead that charge.


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TUlane C O N T E N T S Second-line Helen Mirren celebrates with the graduates, including student speaker Corley A. Miller (right), at Commencement 2017. (See page 14.)


2 PRESIDENT’S LETTER Entrepreneurial big ideas

14 H elen Mirren Wows

Regal, yet down to earth, actress Helen Mirren addressed the graduates at Commencement 2017. Funny, heartwarming and inspirational, her speech included rules for a happy life. By Faith Dawson

16 R e: Defining NOLA Where others saw only poverty and despair, Matt Schwartz (B ’99) and Chris Papamichael (B ’96) recognized an opportunity to create a new New Orleans for all. Now they have asked fellow Tulane alum Morris Adjmi (A ’83)—an architect who blends the modern with the historic—to join them in their continued quest of building up and giving back. By Mike Luke, TC ’04

22 H eart of Gold The Good Samaritan medical student whose heroics inspired a nation isn’t finished being a hero. Dr. Peter Gold (SLA ’12, M ’16) and his closest friends from Tulane are building a “strong city” to stop the violence—and they want your help. By Keith Brannon

26 T he Joys of Being

13 SPORTS Play caller Todd Graffagnini • Football lineage 30 TULANIANS Jared Sternberg • Homecoming Nov. 3–5 • Ellen Blue • Mary Kathryn Nagle • Chris Andrews 31 WHERE Y'AT! Class notes 37 FAREWELL Tribute: Christina Vella

Peggy Wang

From singing and playing with her indie rock band, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, to helping start up BuzzFeed, Peggy Wang, a 2001 computer science major, has followed the road less traveled. She’s also perfected the “hack”—silly (and not so silly) techniques for managing time and activities more efficiently. By Madina Papadopoulos, NC ’06

6 NEWS The sinking coast • School of Professional Advancement • In That Number: Lepage Center • Who Dat? Ivan Bodley • Solar power in space • Ageism in the labor market • Inmate stories • Ozanam Inn • Loujon Press • In Your Own Words: William C. Brumfield

38 WAVEMAKERS Paul Tulane Society • Scholarships • Dean Altiero and STEM 40 NEW ORLEANS Guitarist John Rankin

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STAY CONNECTED Be like Erin Rusonis (SLA ’14). She recently moved in San Francisco and was missing her Tulane magazines. She sent us her updated address—and will never miss a Tulane again.

Y E A H,


ENVIRONMENTAL BRAINPOWER As a retired environmental oil and gas attorney, you took me back three decades to working on Dredge & Fill Permit Mitigation in Plaquemines Parish. I was encouraged by the faculty interdisciplinary brainpower and cooperation. In their well-written articles, Ms. Travis and Ms. Cardé [“On the Mighty Mississippi” and “Living With Water,” Tulane, December 2016] are on target in focusing on diplomacy and education. Cooperation in the network of involved interests has to be discreetly balanced. On behalf of a major oil company in the 1980s, I came up with the first Louisiana Wetlands Restoration Trust for Plaquemines Parish, a bold idea then. The purpose being to actually ensure that mitigation funds were used for restoration. Shareholders filed novel complaints. Even with the trust in place, parish officials could not understand why the funds could not be used to buy fire trucks. The Tulane ByWater Institute has an increasingly important citizen role in monitoring expenditure of the catastrophic multibillion dollar fines. To act as vocal scientific police that a onetime windfall is prudently and economically spent on restoration and not diverted to other uses. Given the current environmental climate we can anticipate scant federal funding or enforcement. Congratulations to Tulane in becoming an integral part of regional leadership. Maelissa Watson Elmer, L ’67 Dallas, Texas


W R I T E ANOTHER CANNON STORY In his March 2017 cannon column [“Big Guns”], Angus missed an interesting one. My mother, who grew up on Bermuda Street in Algiers, told us this story, which we assumed was an urban legend but really did happen. In February 1921, some pranksters climbed over the gate into the front courtyard of the Cabildo with gunpowder and a 4-inch cannonball. They proceeded to load a Civil War–era cannon that had been brought out of the Arsenal

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT In your issue of Tulane dated March 2017, Col. James F. Clark was partially correct [“Neal Jones, Man of Courage”]. I was flying a F-105 and not a F-150 Ford pickup. [Editor’s Note: See also “Who Dat? Murphy Neal Jones,” Tulane, December 2016.] However, he was incorrect stating that I was on my third mission. I flew a few combat missions from Korat AIr Base during a 60-day TDY tour in 1964.

as counters even though I saw enemy fire on all my missions. Not that it amounts to a hill of beans, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. M. Neal Jones, A&S ’60 Covington, Louisiana APPRECIATION I thought the article (“Amped Up”) in Tulane magazine [March 2017] in which I appeared was very well done and the photography beautiful. … I appreciate the photos and the Tulane magazine professionalism. Kenneth M. Ford, G ’87 Pensacola, Florida

DROP US A LINE Email us at: tulanemag@tulane.edu or U.S. mail: Tulane University Office of Editorial & Creative Services 200 Broadway Suite 226 New Orleans, LA 70118

Neal Jones (left) on a plane to the U.S. after being released as a POW in 1973.

a few days before. Aiming it toward Algiers, they lit the fuse, the cannon roared, and the ball arched its way across the Mississippi. It smashed through the front wall of a camelback shotgun house at 317 Alix St. owned by a Mrs. A. Stenhouse. Needless to say, she was surprised. Michael Cosgrove, E ’68 Kerrville, Texas

I flew several more combat missions from Takhli Air Base during another 60-day TDY tour in 1965. I volunteered to finish my 100 missions on another tour at Takhli Air Base in 1966. I was shot down on my 55th “counter” mission. So technically, I only count only 54 1/2 missions. Only missions over certain “route packs” were classified

MORE TO SEE, HEAR AND READ For videos, website links and other digital content related to Tulane magazine, go to www2.tulane.edu/tulanian. A complete archive of past issues of the magazine is also available.



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Letter From the Editor

TUlane M








EDITOR Mary Ann Travis

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Melinda Whatley Viles



In this rendering of a penthouse at The Standard—a Domain Companies project being built on Julia Street between South Rampart Street and O’Keefe Avenue—the skyline of New Orleans is visible.

ENTREPRENEURISM FACES THE FUTURE Cranes in the skyline. That is a sign of progress that an early recovery czar for post-Katrina New Orleans promised as the city began its rebuilding after the disaster 12 years ago. The cranes eventually did arrive. The large, tall machines with their strong beams went to work doing the heavy lifting to construct and reconstruct the city and its infrastructure. At times it has seemed that New Orleans is a giant construction site. And within that rebuilding fervor, the entrepreneurial ethos of the city has been revived. Entrepreneurs and Tulane alumni such as Matt Schwartz and Chris Papamichael, co-founders of the Domain Companies, have transformed dilapidated corridors of New Orleans. (See “Re: Defining NOLA” on page 16). As a defining characteristic, entrepreneurism has long been ingrained in the culture of Tulane. As President Mike Fitts notes in his letter on page 3, “It’s why our graduates become some of the strongest leaders and entrepreneurs in the nation.” Tulane entrepreneurs are often unconventional, taking risks where

others may fear to venture. Peter Gold, for example, featured in “Heart of Gold” on page 22, thwarted a street crime but himself got shot rescuing a woman. He is now determined to address the roots of crime and issues of neglect and despair among urban youth through his Strong City foundation. Like others educated at Tulane, Peggy Wang has traversed several disciplines—from music, art and creative writing to computer science. She has cultivated her creative instincts while developing 21st-century digital communication skills. Through the website BuzzFeed, she has honed “hacks” that resonate with millions of people. See “The Joys of Being Peggy Wang” on page 26. Yes, the cranes came to the skyline of New Orleans. As Morris Adjmi, the architect for The Standard, the ambitious, looming condominium/ retail space/art gallery project for the Domain Companies, says on page 25, “We are building fresh and creating something visible on the skyline.” It is, indeed, a new New Orleans— and Tulane entrepreneurs are driving this change and changes for the better around the world. —MARY ANN TRAVIS

CONTRIBUTORS Keith Brannon Barri Bronston Mary Cross, SLA ’10 Alicia Duplessis Jasmin Angus Lind, A&S ’66 Jamie Logan, SLA ’17 Mary-Elizabeth Lough Caroline McDougall Ryan Rivet, UC ’02 Mary Sparacello Mike Strecker, G ’03 SENIOR UNIVERSITY PHOTOGRAPHER Paula Burch-Celentano, SW ’17 SENIOR PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Sharon Freeman GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Marian Herbert-Bruno Kimberly D. Rainey

PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY Michael A. Fitts SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR STRATEGIC INITIATIVES AND INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS Richard Matasar VICE PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS Deborah L. Grant, PHTM ’86 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 tulanemag@tulane.edu. 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 2017/VOL. 88, NO. 4

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ISAACSON JOINS HISTORY Walter Isaacson, the New Orleans native and former

Times-Picayune reporter who became chairman and CEO of CNN, managing editor of TIME, a best-selling author and leader of the Aspen Institute, has been appointed University Professor in the Tulane history department.


Sea Level Rises Researchers in Tulane’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences have found that the rate of sea-level rise in the coastal marshes of Louisiana over the past six to 10 years amounts to half an inch per year on average. They used an unconventional method to measure sea-level change, integrating information from different data sources. They analyzed measurements of shallow subsidence rates at 274 sites across the coast and combined these with published GPS measurements of deeper sub­ sidence rates. Adding published satellite observations of the rise of the sea surface in the Gulf of Mexico, they were able to calculate how rapidly sea level is rising with respect to the coastal wetland surface. “The bottom line is that in order to assess how dire the situation is in Louisiana, this new data set is a huge step forward compared to any­ thing we’ve done before,” said Torbjörn E. Törnqvist, co-author of the study published in the open-access journal Nature Communications. Without major efforts to rebuild Louisiana’s wetlands, particularly in the westernmost part of the state, there is little chance that the coast will be able to withstand the accelerating rate of sea-level rise, said Törnqvist, the Vokes Professor of Geology at Tulane. He conducted the research with lead author and PhD candidate Krista L. Jankowski and co-author Anjali M. Fernandes, a former post­ doc in Törnqvist’s group who is now at the University of Connecticut. Justin Lawrence of the National Science Foundation, which provid­ ed funding for the study, said, “The findings suggest that a large portion of coastal marshes in Louisiana are vulnerable to present-day sea-level rise. This work may provide an early indication of what is to occur in coastal regions around the world later this century.” The research was made possible through publicly available data collected under the auspices of Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the U.S. Geological Survey. —Barri Bronston


Louisiana Wetlands

A patchwork of land and sea is visible near Houma, Louisiana.

Tulane has formally relaunched the School of Continuing Studies as the School of Pro­ fessional Advancement. The school is one of six at Tulane that offer both undergraduate and graduate programs. Suri Duitch, vice president for academic innovation and dean of the school, said that the new name of the school is more directly reflective of its focus on working adults, career advancement, and applied and innovative programs that are relevant to the workplace. Tulane President Mike Fitts said, “Tulane has a proud history of serving working adult students and offering an education relevant to the workplace, going back to 1884. The School of Professional Advancement will allow working adult students to focus on applied learning and responsiveness to the workplace and is positioned for tremendous future opportunities and growth.” The School of Professional Advancement offers 26 undergraduate programs of study and four master’s degree programs, includ­ ing its nationally recognized homeland security program, which was ranked No. 3 out of 50 by ValueColleges.com. Duitch also announced that a new concentration in cybersecurity will be available in the fall. —Mike Strecker

ROLLOUT Suri Duitch (right), dean of the School of Professional Advancement, presides at the school's relaunch on April 6, 2017. PAULA BURCH-CELENTANO


New Name, Direction


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In That Number Dedicated to Entrepreneurs



The New Venture Planning course brought together 68 graduate students to work with 10 local startup founders to develop business models and engage seed-stage investors. The founders were introduced to 25 accredited investors throughout the semester.



The Tulane Business Model Competition recognizes “early-stage ventures with market-tested ability to adapt to customers’ needs.” The competition has awarded $520,000 in prizes throughout its 17-year history.


The Tulane Family Business Center has worked with more than 300 familyowned businesses and privately held companies across the Southeast region.


Students from the A. B. Freeman School of Business and the School of Science and Engineering developed 12 new inventions through Innovation and Technology Commercialization, an interdisciplinary pilot course. Nine of the 12 inventions have been commercialized.


The Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation develops and coordinates entrepreneurial coursework, academic research and student programming for the A. B. Freeman School of Business. The center also oversees the Tulane Family Business Center and Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. Through community outreach and programs that support the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the center helps to address unmet business needs in New Orleans and the Gulf South. Executive director Rob Lalka and his team intend to build upon the successes tallied here.

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Who Dat? ‘Funkboy’ Ivan Bodley and His Bass Guitar

Ivan Bodley (center) back in the day (1984), when he was musical director for WTUL, schmoozes with Neville brothers Art (left) and Aaron (right). Bodley, like the Nevilles, stayed the course in the music industry.

FIT WITH A FENDER Ivan Bodley (A&S ’86) has come a long way since his days as the musical director of Tulane’s student-run radio station, WTUL. Known in the industry as “Funkboy,” Bodley has become a renowned bass player and musical director to the stars. But he wasn’t always sure he belonged in front of the footlights. “I was a senior in high school before I picked up the Fender bass,” said Bodley. “I’d had other music lessons, growing up in Chattanooga, but somehow that Fender bass chose me. It fits my personality more than the lead guitar. I don’t have to be out there in front, saying, ‘Look at me.’ I like to be a part of the ensemble, part of the foundation, part of the driving force that makes you want to dance to a given selection.”


After graduating from Tulane, Bodley relocated to Los Angeles, where he worked for Epic Records as a publicist, but soon realized the business side of the industry was all about marketing and not about the music. “I had interviewed groups like the Ramones while at WTUL,” said Bodley, “and I got an earful of music while in New Orleans, even playing pickup with the likes of Bo Diddley. I decided that playing music was what I wanted to do with my life. That being the case, I needed to be fully educated, so I headed for Berklee.” Not UC Berkeley, but the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, where just a few of the notable students were Quincy Jones, John Mayer and New Orleans’ own Branford Marsalis. Armed with a magna cum laude degree, Bodley then

moved to New York City, where the music scene seemed to be his vibe. “The specific style of funk I was gravitating toward came out of that city,” said Bodley. “New York is my tempo, and now I’ve just bought a house there with my earnings, and I’ve never had a day job in 22 years.” Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011, Bodley has also played Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center and has performed with 46 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees. For Bodley, music is the universal language. “I was recently in Japan and hooked up with three musicians,” Bodley said. “We had no language in common, but we had the 12 tones of the musical scale … and that was enough.” Check out Bodley’s website: www.funkboy.net.—LESLIE CARDÉ


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DAVID VITTER PAPERS The Congressional Papers of David Vitter are the latest acquisition of the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane and are available for researchers. Vitter, a 1988 School of Law graduate, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2005 and in the U.S. Senate from 2005 to 2017.



Job Searches

NASA’s Big Idea Cargo Carrier

“The Sunflower” is the winning concept for NASA’s Big Idea Challenge. The solarpowered modules were invented by a team of Tulane students from several disciplines.

DISCRIMINATION Older women applying for work are less likely to be called for an interview than younger women, according to a study by assistant professor of economics Patrick Button.


Tulane students’ innovative idea for a flower-shaped, solar-powered space ferry won the top prize in NASA’s Big Idea Challenge, a national contest held in February 2017 to design better ways to assemble spacecraft in space. Competing against teams from traditional aerospace engineering programs around the country, the Tulane team’s win is remarkable because the Tulane students are pursuing degrees in biomedical engineering, engineering physics, economics and other disciplines. The interdisciplinarity of the Tulane team was key to its win, said Matthew Escarra, assistant professor in engineering physics. “Our hybrid, cross-disciplinary team embodied the Tulane vision of finding innovative solutions from totally different and unique perspectives. It was unlike anything the judges had seen before. This is what won the judges over, and it is an important validation of the unique model at Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering.” Five finalist teams from around the country presented concepts for next-generation spacecraft to top scientists at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, on Feb. 16. The challenge is part of NASA’s efforts to rapidly develop game-changing technologies for future space missions, including transit to deep-space locations such as Mars. The winning team members get paid internships at NASA this summer. Dubbed “The Sunflower,” Tulane’s winning concept calls for stackable hexagon-shaped modules that unfold like origami from a rocket bay at low Earth orbit. The identical pieces connect together via magnetic locks to assemble themselves into an array of solar-powered ion engines that can ferry cargo into orbit around the moon. Tulane’s team includes physics graduate student John Robertson and undergraduates Otto Lyon, Ethan Gasta, Matthew Gorban, Afsheen Sajjadi, Maxwell Woody and Ben Lewson.—Keith Brannon

Older may be wiser, but older does not lead to callbacks for job applicants. And older women are least likely to hear back from potential employers. Patrick Button, an assistant professor of economics in the Tulane School of Liberal Arts, is co-author of a study that shows age discrimination in the labor market against men and women, but it’s much stronger against older women. “And the older you get, the more the discrimination,” said Button. Button and his co-authors submitted 40,000 made-up applications online for around 13,000 lower-skilled actual jobs. The resumes of the fictitious job seekers listed similar work experience—only the ages were different. The applicants were grouped by ages 29–31, 49–51 and 64–66. Job categories were administrative assistant and retail sales for women; and sales, security and janitorial for men. Among the findings, there was a stark, negative contrast in callbacks for administrative positions for older women, who were offered job interviews at a 47 percent lower rate than the younger women. The oldest group— those closest to retirement age—had the least success getting a nibble from employers. American society has a problem if older workers face ageist discrimination, said Button. “We need effective policies to get older workers working longer.”—Mary Ann Travis

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LOUISIANA’S BEST ARTS INSTITUTION The American Art Awards has recognized

the Newcomb Art Museum as the 2017 Best Gallery or Museum in Louisiana. The esteemed American Art Awards board annually honors one museum per state.


Shelter Space LCIW86, 2000, by photographer Deborah Luster, is a portrait of a 24-year-old inmate at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women.

Prison Break Tulane students collaborated during the spring 2017 semester with the inmates of Lafayette Parish Correctional Center through an introductory creative writing class taught by Zachary Lazar, an associate professor of English in the School of Liberal Arts. Twelve Tulane students partnered with an equal number of inmates to produce Ink, a book of fiction, memoir and poetry. At the end of the semester, with the published book in hand, Lazar said, “What jumped out at me was how everyone in the class—Tulane students and inmate students—learned to write not only as communicators but as artists.” The idea developed when Lazar, the author of three novels and a memoir, began work on his fourth novel based on a journalism project at Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola. At Angola, Lazar worked closely with photographer Deborah Luster and assistant warden Cathy Fontenot. Luster and Lazar found much in common, having both lost a parent to murder in Phoenix, Arizona. Crime and its consequences have become a major reference in their work today. The pair met in Louisiana, the state with the highest incarceration rate in the country. After becoming involved with service learning, Lazar reached out to Fontenot, who had become warden at Lafayette Parish Correctional Center. They arranged for the students to visit the prison three times during the semester and to exchange writing and video chat each week. Lazar hopes that the project will continue in future semesters, ultimately including prisons closer to home and other professors. “I don’t know of anyone else who has ever done it quite this way,” Lazar said of the project.—Jamie Logan


DESIGN FOR THE COMMUNITY Tulane students Rebecca Cumming, left, and Haley Lindsley, right, work on the final details of a bench at Ozanam Inn.



St. Gabriel

“It’s a godsend.” Those were the three words that Renée Borie Blanche, director of development at Ozanam Inn, used to describe the exterior improvements to the Camp Street center for the homeless. Among the improvements are a polymer overhang inscribed with the words “inspire,” “faith” and “love,” an updated wheelchair ramp and a deck with rows of wooden benches with backs, tabletops and room beneath for the inn’s clients to store their belongings. The outdoor space serves as a lineup area for meals and other services but also as a hangout for those who simply want to be off the streets. “It wasn’t inviting before, and it wasn’t comfortable,” Blanche said. “Now it looks great, and we’re so excited.” Blanche credits the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, the community design center that is part of the Tulane School of Architecture. The Small Center pro­vides high-quality design assistance for nonprofit groups that are traditionally underserved by the design profession. As part of their Fall Design/Build Studio project, 13 students did most of the work, from client interviews to design, fabrication and installation. The Ozanam Inn project was selected from over 30 project proposals submitted to the Small Center last year.—Barri Bronston


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Gallery Outsider Writers, Circa 1960s

LOUJON PRESS Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb is the solo cover model for The Outsider No. 1 (left) and shares the The Outsider No. 2 cover (center) with musicians Willie Humphrey and Dee Dee Pierce. In their publishers’ note (right) for It Catches My Heart in Its Hands by Charles Bukowski (pictured), Jon and Louise Webb describe the arduous printing process they undertook to produce this book in their French Quarter apartment in 1963.

CRIT LIT In the early 1960s, literary artists either fell inside or outside the metaphorical highbrow literary circle. Establishment writers who made the A-list were praised and published by major literary houses, but lesser-known writers—the outsiders—had to find other avenues to share their work. Around 1961 in New Orleans, Loujon Press began producing The Outsider, a highquality print publication whose mission was to pro­vide exposure to new, edgy, underground literature by these lesser-known artists in the burgeoning literary scene. Loujon Press was an independent publishing company started by husband and wife Jon Webb and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb in their French Quarter apartment. Using a hand press, the

pair printed, assembled and shipped the publications from their home. Today, a complete set of these volumes is preserved in the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) on the uptown campus of Tulane University. The KnowLouisiana digital encyclopedia notes that The Outsider, far from a mainstream publication, was a “critical success from the very start, making a remarkable impact in the literary landscape of the 20th century.” The brilliant “lowlife” poet Charles Bukowski is among the writers discovered by the Webbs. Bukowski’s first two books, It Catches My Heart in Its Hands (1963) and Crucifix in a Deathhand (1965), were published by Loujon.

Loujon Press published three issues of The Outsider, along with four books of poetry and prose. When Jon Webb died in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1971, the press ceased operations. Today, Gypsy Lou Webb still maintains a home in the French Quarter and is active in New Orleans’ art scene. “The Louisiana Research Collection has a special project to preserve a copy of every Loujon Press publication,” said Lee Miller, head of the LaRC. “Anyone who has Loujon Press publications, or who has brochures, pamphlets or correspondence about the press is encouraged to contact us.” LaRC is located in Jones Hall, Room 202, and can be reached by phone at 504-314-7833. —ALICIA DUPLESSIS JASMIN

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In Your Own Words Photographer at the End of the Earth

A rapt audience listens to William Brumfield, Tulane professor of Slavic studies, talk about his career on March 27, 2017, at Spaso House, the home of the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation in Moscow. (Inset) Brumfield’s latest book is Architecture at the End of the Earth: Photographing the Russian North (Duke University Press, 2015), which he presented to Ambassador John Tefft.

IN YOUR OWN WORDS William C. Brumfield is professor of Slavic languages at Tulane. For almost five decades, he has documented Russian architecture and culture through his photography. He has published 37 books (25 have been published in Russian). He has been elected to both the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences and the Russian Academy of Arts—recognition that no other American has received. The Library of Congress and the Image Collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., have collections of Brumfield’s photography available on their websites. Certain cultures seem drawn to their ruins, their relics, their ghosts and their shadows. Russia is one such culture. The American South is another. Russia also has in common with the South the feeling that, as William Faulkner put it, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” (Requiem for a Nun). Especially during my work in the Russian North, Russian friends and colleagues


there often commented on similarities between their attitudes and what they interpreted as my Southern spirit of respect for tradition and cultural legacy. But my connections between Russia and the South were still deeper. My father, who was born in 1895 near a hamlet north of Lake Pontchartrain on the Mississippi-Louisiana border, was the first person I knew who had seen Russians, and in a very improbable way. In 1918 he served in the Sixth Marine Regiment as part of the American Expeditionary Force in France. Toward the end of that year he encountered Russians who had been part of a little known but sizeable Russian contingent in the French Army on the Western Front. He never forgot the experience. He told me that the Russians were our allies, that we would never fight them. This was an unexpected statement from a Southerner in the early 1950s at the height of the Korean War, but it played a role in my decision to explore the space of Russia. Decades and many books later, my work as a photographer and architectural

historian has been met with acclaim throughout Russia. Russian colleagues have created sites devoted to my work (for example: http://cultinfo.ru/brumfield/) And recently I was honored by a 10-day Russian lecture tour arranged by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the U.S. Consulate in Ekaterinburg, with support provided by Project Harmony International. The tour opened with a lecture for the Spaso House Speakers Series at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation. Ambassador John Tefft introduced the lecture. A number of other lectures followed, not only in Moscow but also the Urals cities of Perm and Yekaterinburg, where I gave two lectures at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center. Russian audiences seemed especially interested in my descriptions of growing up in the South and the role of Russian literature in my early education. Gratified by the warm Russian response, I am convinced that culture serves as a bridge between our two great countries. —WILLIAM C. BRUMFIELD


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ACADEMIC HONOR Tulane football tight end Marshall Wadleigh earned a rare

honor in April when the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame named him to the 2017 NFF Hampshire Honor Society. Wadleigh, a business finance major from Pearl River, Louisiana, graduated with a 4.0 GPA.



When Tulane running backs coach Jamaal Fobbs learned that the Green Wave would be opening the 2017 football season Sept. 2 against Grambling State, he couldn’t help but think to himself, “Here we go again.” For the fifth time since playing running back for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, he will be competing against family—this time his brother Broderick Fobbs, the Tigers head coach, and his father, Lee Fobbs, the running backs coach and a one-time Tulane assistant. “It’s just another game,” Jamaal Fobbs said. “It just so happens that my brother and father will be on the other side. We’re going to do everything in our power to win the game, and after it’s over there will be a lot of love, a lot of hugs and a lot of ‘Good luck the rest of the year.’ ” Fobbs has grown accustomed to the mostly friendly rivalry. He twice went up against his dad, a former defensive line coach at Baylor, while in college. And he twice coached against his brother—an assistant coach at McNeese State when he was receivers coach at Southeast Louisiana. If there’s one person he sympathizes with, it’s his mother, Sheila, who does her best not to take sides. “For her it’s exciting,” he said. “But it’s also bittersweet because one sibling will win and another will lose.”—Barri Bronston

Voice of the Green Wave Todd Graffagnini handles play-by-play duties for football, baseball and men’s basketball.

SEASON OPENER In the first Green Wave game of the gridiron season against Grambling State on Sept. 2, 2017, Tulane running backs coach Jamaal Fobbs (left) will compete against his brother and his father, both Grambling coaches.

Call Home

“Ask and ye shall receive. Deep, deep, deep into the Oxford afternoon. Hang ’em, bang ’em. Hang ’em, bang ’em.” Fox Sports described the call by Todd Graffagnini as “the best home run call of the year.” A USA Today headline read, “Tulane radio broadcaster delightfully goes nuts for 9th inning homerun.” TheScore.com wrote: “Broadcaster loses mind after massive Tulane HR.” Each article included a link, enabling even those on the other side of the world to hear the jubilation in Graffagnini’s voice as he described Jake Rogers’ game-winning homerun against Ole Miss in June 2016. Nearly a year later, Graffagnini, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary as the voice of the Green Wave, thinks back to that call and wonders what the fuss was about. “If we were playing Nicholls State on a Tuesday night in front of 100 people, I’d have called it the exact same way,” he said. “I guess the only difference is that the stage was bigger.” A native New Orleanian who played high school baseball at Jesuit and pitched at Northeast Louisiana University before suffering a careerending injury, Graffagnini has been a fixture at Tulane since 1992 while studying broadcasting at Loyola University. With his brother Kyle on the Tulane baseball team, Graffagnini hung out at practice and got to know Ken Berthelot, then the voice of Green Wave. Graffagnini eventually became the voice of Green Wave baseball and in August 2007 was hired by Tulane and IMG Sports to handle play-byplay duties for football, baseball and men’s basketball. Not a day goes by that he isn’t grateful for the opportunity. “I walk into the ballpark, and it’s like 75 degrees and I’m literally doing my dream job,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” —Barri Bronston

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Football Rivalry


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Helen Mirren


—WOWS— 14


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— Helen Mirren’s Pearls of Wisdom —


“No matter what sex you are, or race, be a feminist. In every country and culture that I have visited, from Sweden to Uganda, from Singapore to Mali, it is clear that when women are given respect, and the ability and freedom to pursue their personal dreams and ambitions, life improves for everyone.” _______________

MENCEMENT 2017. HER FUNNY, HEARTWARMING AND INSPIRATIONAL SPEECH INCLUDED RULES FOR A HAPPY LIFE. by Faith Dawson Music and laughter filled the Mercedes-Benz Superdome during Tulane University Commencement on May 20, 2017, when nearly 2,800 academic degrees were conferred. Tulane President Mike Fitts congratulated the graduates on their collective 300,000 hours of service and their fierce desire to live out the university’s motto, “Not for one’s self, but for one’s own.” “You have learned the lessons of Tulane,” he said. “To serve one another, to bring your minds and your hearts to solving the problems of the world, to look beyond your own perspectives and to seek out the solutions others miss.” The ceremony featured renditions of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans,” by Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band, Topsy Chapman and her daughter, Master of Liberal Arts degree recipient Yolanda Windsay. Honorary degree recipient saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, also performed the tune. Civil rights activist Diane Nash, social psychologist Shelley Taylor and actress Helen Mirren also received honorary degrees. As the keynote speaker, Mirren, a Tony, Emmy and Academy Award– winner, delighted the audience with her speech, delivered with aplomb and perfect timing.

“Ignore anyone who judges the way you look, especially if he or she is some anonymous creep lurking on the internet.” _______________ “Don’t be afraid of fear. For the moments when you are challenged by fears like ‘Am I good enough?’ ‘Am I smart enough?’ ‘Will I fail?’ throw caution to the winds, look fear straightaway in its ugly face and barge forward.” _______________ “Don’t overcomplicate things.” _______________ “We’re counting on you. We’re counting on you to be our Generation Empathy, our Generation Cares, our Generation Gamechangers.” T UL A N E MAGA Z I N E J U N E 2 0 17

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By Mike Luke, TC ’04

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“Entrepreneurship has taken off. ... New Orleans is this incredible place that has this tremendous wealth of cultural assets, whether it be the architecture, the food, the music, the art, the people.” JACKSON HILL

—Matt Schwartz (B ’99) The Domain Companies is in the business of dreaming big and building big. The grand, gleaming visions of its co-founders, Matt Schwartz (B ’99) and Chris Papamichael (B ’96), are coming to life across the skyline of New Orleans. From The Preserve and The Crescent Club, rental communities that transformed a dilapidated section of Tulane Avenue, to The Standard, the latest addition to the South Market District in Downtown New Orleans and the first luxury condominium high-rise the city has seen in 20 years, Domain’s projects are catalysts for revitalization of sections of the city that had fallen on hard times and almost been forgotten. Schwartz has the ethos of the modern entrepreneur. He values more than just success with the bottom line or bringing a project to fruition. He has a commitment to service. When he talks about Domain’s projects, he expresses a genuine concern for the communities in which they are developing. He sees a need to connect with these communities.

Visionary Developers Previous pages: The Ace Hotel at 600 Carondelet St. is part of the revitalization of Downtown New Orleans. This page: Matt Schwartz and Chris Papamichael are co-founders of the Domain Companies. Facing page: The Shop at the CAC offers coworking space and is designed to facilitate conversation.


MARRIAGE OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND ART “We look at our business as more than just real estate development,” said Schwartz, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane in 1999. “We consider ourselves in the business of community development. What we are doing extends far beyond the physical spaces that we are building. We are concerned with the communities that we are creating and the impact our projects have on those communities.” Part of the beyond-regular-real-estate-development idea coming to life is The Shop at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), an upcoming co-working space from Domain in programming collaboration with the Idea Village. The Idea Village, which was conceived in 2000, is an independent nonprofit dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship—all aimed at fostering a rich environment for business startups. The CAC, a cultural standard bearer as an exhibition space and multidisciplinary art center on Camp Street in the Warehouse/Arts District, is the locale for the project. The Shop will be a marriage of entrepreneurship and art. The plan is to open the 40,000-square-foot co-working space to serve as a


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community for artistic, entrepreneurial and cultural-based individuals and businesses as a foundation for a new “innovation corridor” in Downtown New Orleans. Schwartz is bullish on New Orleans. He always has been. And he was at a time when not many were. In 2007, one of Domain’s first projects in New Orleans took place on Tulane Avenue—in an area of the city that was run-down well before Hurricane Katrina hit. Where others saw poverty, destruction and despair, he and Papamichael saw something else: potential. They saw a need for housing post-Katrina, proximity to Downtown, good access to the interstate, and an excellent location on a street once dubbed the “The Miracle Mile” in the 1950s. The end product? Nearly 500 apartments providing housing for more than 1,000 residents at The Preserve, The Crescent Club and The Meridian. With the nearby University Medical Center and New Orleans Veterans Affairs Hospital now open, the bet has paid off. Occupancy rates in the residential communities have exceeded all projections. LOVE FOR NEW ORLEANS “We were passionate about bringing New Orleans back because we loved the city,” Schwartz said. A deep love of New Orleans—the food, the music, the creative atmosphere and eclectic culture—bubbles up immediately when Schwartz speaks of the city. While a student at Tulane, he fell for the city the way a lot of people do when they first come to New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, he came back, like so many others, drawn to help rebuild the city—a part of a movement of people who wanted to not only bring New Orleans back but also move it progressively into the future. With the city on its knees, fighting for its survival and in many ways trying to justify its very existence, Schwartz saw great promise in a place he cared for. “Post-Katrina, you had a place that people were passionate about and connected to and a place they wanted to fight for and the oppor­ tunity to rethink these systems and the resources to get out there and do it,” he said, describing the climate in the city.

As the city was rebuilding, Katrina was a spark to create a new entrepreneurial spirit that has prospered in New Orleans, Schwartz said. The city has become a hub for entrepreneurs as new ideas and new people are drawn to the city as a space for creativity. “Entrepreneurship has taken off in New Orleans,” Schwartz said. “It truly is a unique place to work. New Orleans is this incredible place that has this tremendous wealth of cultural assets, whether it be the architecture, the food, the music, the art, the people. It really is a special and magical place.” Before the storm, Schwartz said the city had failing systems for public education, public housing, health care and infrastructure, and it lacked the money to fix those problems. After the storm, there was chance to restart and reconsider ideas, he said, and there were also funds and resources coming to effect that change. “Katrina created an opportunity to rethink things,” he said. “That is what a lot of entrepreneurs do. You had massive disruption and an opportunity to take a step back and not only rethink things but do it with a unique access to capital.” SPIRIT OF INNOVATION The Shop at the Contemporary Arts Center is part of this new spirit, a space to channel and foster innovation and ideas. Using the rich arts culture of New Orleans as the foundation, the idea is to fuse technology and programming to provide resources for small businesses. The hope is that a Downtown innovation corridor will grow. “If you would have pitched The Shop 10 years ago, people would have looked at you like you were crazy,” Schwartz said. “Here’s an entire building supporting the growth of the entrepreneurial community in these tech-related industries: ed tech, digital media, film, biosciences. There are companies coming through this space that we wouldn’t have expected in New Orleans pre-Katrina.” This visionary work has earned Schwartz and Papamichael multiple awards, such as the 2017 T.G. Solomon Award for Entrepreneurship and Civic Engagement and Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the

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Transforming the Skyline Above: The Standard, the latest Domain Companies project, is under construction at 1001 Julia St., between South Rampart Street and O’Keefe Avenue. Facing page: Morris Adjmi is the architect for The Standard.


Year for 2016. (The duo started Domain—a real estate company that has developed projects in both New York and Louisiana—in 2004.) Instead of the brash and bold manner often associated with de­ velopers of massive projects, Schwartz has a mild, humble, calming demeanor, exuding a quiet confidence. Now 40, at age 27 he walked away from the security and prestige of a well-paying job at a top New York City real estate firm, driven to start his own firm and make his own mark. The desire to have something of his own, something that he created with his fingerprints—that innate entrepreneurial spirit—was the impetus in a lot of ways. “Having great mentors definitely played a big part in it,” Schwartz said, who cites his father and his education at Tulane. “I was always attracted to entrepreneurship—the idea of creating things and solving problems. “What I was attracted to was taking new ideas and creating something out of it.” The $80 million Ace Hotel, a nine-story Art Deco building at 600 Carondelet St., is a testament to this signature entrepreneurism. Opened in 2016, the boutique hotel is blocks from Domain’s South Market District development and is more than a nice place to stay. It is a place to see live music, eat a fine meal or enjoy a craft cocktail in the lobby bar. With a vibrant food scene, an eclectic music scene and a hip art scene, New Orleans was the perfect fit for Ace. Ace Hotel also has locations in Los Angeles, New York and London.


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CREATIVE FORCE Distilled to its purest form, an entrepreneur is a creator or builder. One such person is Morris Adjmi, who graduated from the Tulane School of Architecture in 1983. Adjmi is the architect working with Domain on The Standard at South Market, a Downtown condominium project. Like Schwartz, Adjmi was excited to return from New York to New Orleans to work in a burgeoning entrepreneurial milieu. The city’s creative forces inspire him. With 24,000 square feet of retail space (primarily art galleries and local boutiques) and 89 apartments, The Standard is more than merely a building under construction. Amid the din and clamor of construction work at the site along O’Keefe Avenue and Rampart and Julia streets, a community is being built. Adjmi, a New Orleans native, grew up sketching buildings in the French Quarter. He went to Isidore Newman School in the Uptown neighborhood before attending Tulane. He moved to New York and created a business of his own, Morris Adjmi Architects. But his firm, like Schwartz’s Domain, is more than just a business. “I wanted to create a vibrant office that had a social consciousness,” Adjmi said. To that end, his firm has donated to organizations like Habitat for Humanity and built homes as well. “I feel as a successful business­ person and entrepreneur, we have to give back to the communities in New York and New Orleans,” he said.

“I always had this longing to do something here. ... This building [The Standard] will help to build a new way of looking at New Orleans architecture. We are building fresh and creating something visible on the skyline.” —Morris Adjmi (A ’83)

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE Schwartz admired Adjmi’s ability to blend old with new—something that is essential when working in New Orleans—and asked him to design The Standard. “We felt he would be perfect there,” Schwartz said. “What better of a circumstance? He is prominent in the design world but thoroughly knows the city. What he does so well is layer modern design into historic areas.” Adjmi leapt at the chance to come back to New Orleans. “I always had this longing to do something here in New Orleans,” Adjmi said. “This building (The Standard) will help to build a new way of looking at New Orleans architecture. We are building fresh and creating something visible on the skyline.” This relationship between the past, present and the community is important to Adjmi. “I wanted to relate history to the modern condition, but in a way that wasn’t referential or derivative. Like a restaurant that will be inventive with Creole cuisine, we’re trying to take the best of the historic and combine it with best of what we have.” Adjmi and Schwartz both have returned to New Orleans from New York—one to the home of his birth, the other to the place where he found a home during his college years. Both are drivers of a new movement that is gaining momentum in the city, a new spirit that mixes art, culture and innovation, creating a very new New Orleans that celebrates the past and moves toward an exciting future.

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Heart of Gold


By Keith Brannon



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It was still dark in the early morning hours of Nov. 20, 2015, when fourth-year medical student Peter Gold was driving down Magazine Street and noticed something clearly wasn’t right. At 4 a.m., the street was desolate except for two figures stumbling in the distance. A woman struggled under the arms of a man whose face was cloaked by a hooded sweatshirt. Her legs flailed as he dragged her forward onto the sidewalk toward a nearby vehicle. Gold slowly backed his car up to get a better look and made a splitsecond decision. “You don’t think,” he said. “You’re in that situation, and it’s an immediate fight-or-flight response. Somebody had to do something, and I was there.” Gold sped toward the two, dashed out of his car and confronted the assailant, who released his grip on the woman. At that moment it became clear. The man had a gun. What happened next would make headlines around the world. When Gold approached the man, he ended up getting shot in the stomach. It may have been luck, a miracle or the invisible hand of fate but when the gunman tried to fire again, his weapon refused. It jammed at least three times before the man gave up and drove away, leaving both Gold and the woman on the sidewalk. “I didn’t black out or pass out,” Gold said. “I remember everything.” A nearby surveillance camera did too, capturing high-definition footage of the whole incident. The good Samaritan medical student from Tulane became an international hero. LAUNCH OF STRONG CITY FOUNDATION Now graduated from medical school and fully recovered, Gold isn’t finished being a hero. Except he wants to save an unlikely target: men like Euric Cain, the 22-year-old who shot him. Gold, 27, has launched a foundation with eight of his closest friends from Tulane to end cycles of violence within communities, starting with New Orleans. Their nonprofit, Strong City, will support community-based organizations that empower underserved youth so that none will ever follow in Cain’s footsteps. Their goal—through money, time and building a network of skilled professionals—is to provide these organizations the resources they need to help kids reach their full potential. “I want to change the conversation from being about my recovering to about how we can all come together to look at the bigger picture,”

Gold said. “Let’s solve this problem by focusing at the root and working with the youth in our communities.” Gold launched the Strong City foundation with a media blitz in early April. He sat down for an exclusive, high-profile live interview on the “TODAY” show with Matt Lauer. Segments on “NBC Nightly News,” “Inside Edition,” People.com and other media outlets quickly followed. “The response has been phenomenal,” Gold said. YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT The group raised $20,000 in donations within two weeks. Strong City’s first community partner is the New Orleans–based Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), which engages underserved young people through community-based education, mentoring and employment readiness programs to help them develop their skills and strengthen their ties to family and community. “Through the creation of Strong City, Peter is showing us all that by coming together to support community-based organizations working with underserved youth that we can address underlying causes of violence in our communities and make our make cities healthier, safer and stronger for everyone,” said Melissa Sawyer, YEP executive director and co-founder. The idea for Strong City came about while Gold was recovering in the hospital, thinking about what happened the night he was shot and what events in life lead people to violence. Yes, he was angry, but the question that haunted him the most was how could another human being do this? How can life wear down a person’s humanity to such degree that they can kill a stranger? “I think as a society we have failed people,” Gold said. “I think that if (Cain) was given the opportunity to be successful when he was younger, that maybe this would never have happened. What he did was horrendous, and I’m not saying that it’s OK. But what I am saying is that I think there is a bigger picture here.” Cain was arrested three days after Gold’s shooting and later pled guilty to that crime and others. He is serving a 54-year prison sentence. Gold is convinced that tackling violence has to start at its roots. He believes that programs that provide children with safe spaces to feel supported and nurtured will help them learn healthy coping and conflict resolution skills. YEP offers mentoring, tutoring, jobtraining programs, outreach for those within the juvenile justice

Safe Space Peter Gold, center, joins Youth Empowerment MARY MOUTON

Project participants on a New Orleans playground.

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Darrin McCall, YEP Nick Curran, Strong City

Alex Taylor, YEP

Tevin Clark, YEP


Alberta Wright, YEP

Bernie January Jr., YEP

All for One YEP staff gather with a few members of the Strong City board. Curran, Cunningham, Brands and Gold are Tulane alumni who launched Strong City along with (not pictured) Adam Beal, Sarah Bobker, Matthew Deitch, Mark Jones PAULA BURCH-CELENTANO

and Joshua Kogel.

On the Ground YEP offers mentoring and afterschool programs.



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Roman Smith, YEP

Peter Gold, Strong City

Jihad Doucette, YEP Caroline Cunningham, Strong City Melissa Sawyer, YEP

Alex Brands, Strong City

system and recreational programs. “If we could come up with our idea of what would be an awesome community-based program and what it would look like, the Youth Empowerment Project would be it,” Gold said. “They have after-school programs with young kids starting at ages 5 and 6. They give them a safe place to come after school and hang out with other kids. They get help with their homework, get their school uniforms washed and just the basic things that they need to be successful.” RESPECT FOR LIFE Gold now lives in New York and is completing his first year as a resident in orthopedic surgery at North Shore University and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Long Island. As for any lasting effects from his injuries, he’s “110 percent.” “Except for the scar down my stomach, it has no effect on me day to day, which is an absolute miracle and attributable to University Medical Center, the Tulane trauma team and Dr. Meg Moore, who was my physician,” he said. “I’m so fortunate that she was there that night to take care of me.” The crime also hasn’t shaken his faith in New Orleans. Gold’s connection to the city and Tulane are deep. His parents, Gail Hahn Gold (NC ’80) and Dr. Robert Gold (A&S ’78, M ’82), met at the university as undergrads. His sister, Lisa Gold Dresner (B ’08, ’09), and her husband, Jason Dresner (B ’08), also graduated from Tulane. “New Orleans is a special, amazing place. This city made me who I am and how I think,” Gold said. “Tulane and New Orleans are something we always think about. It will always be our second home.” While any physical wounds are healed, the incident has shaped Gold in other ways. His time in the hospital has changed how he inter-

acts with his own patients. He has a much deeper empathy for what they are going through. “I understand what it’s like to be on the other side, sitting in that hospital bed, kind of hopeless, sick and scared—not knowing if I’m going to be OK,” he said. “To have someone like Dr. Moore, who as a surgeon has so much confidence and knowledge, come in to talk to me and help me and my family stay calm and stay on the right path to recovery. It made all of the difference. She is an amazing woman. I hope that as I become a surgeon that I can do the same thing for my patients.” Gold said the trauma of his experience still hits him at unexpected times. “When it comes up the most is when I see other people helping somebody else out. I become a little bit more emotional than I was before. If I see a movie where someone is saving someone or someone is helping someone out, I’ll get a little teary-eyed.” Gold said that when he goes for a run and gets a surge of energy and the euphoria that goes along with exercising, he’s happy to be alive. “I can run. I can feel good. That’s how it comes back to me. Just respecting life and thinking about important relationships that I have with my family or my friends. It is amazing how blessed I am. We all are—to have these relationships and be happy together and live on this earth. It should not be taken for granted.” That respect for life—all life—is a message he hopes Strong City drives home. “I want people to know that we’re not alone in this world. If we all come together as a group, as a strong collective, we can make the world around us a better place,” he said. “If you feel the same way, let’s do that together.”

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Peggy Wang



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To call someone an “entrepreneurial artist” can seem like an oxymoronic description. An artist is generally equated with adjectives like “starving” or “suffering,” while an entrepreneur calls to mind a clever person with savoir faire and perhaps a touch of cunning. Characteristics that describe both an entrepreneur and an artist? Problem-solving is one. Courage is another. BuzzFeed’s founding editor and “hack” expert, Peggy Wang, embodies both those qualities. Wang, who earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Tulane in December 2001, has had the diverse careers of computer programmer, indie rock band member who toured globally, and founding editor of BuzzFeed—an American digital media company headquartered in New York City. Wang is the life and lifestyle editor of the social news and entertainment company known for its fluffy “listicles.” BuzzFeed has a serious side, too, with a breaking news operation. Named one of Fast Company’s 50 most innovative companies for 2016, BuzzFeed generates 9 billion content views a month across social and other digital platforms. Half the views come from videos. Back in 2006, going to work at a fledgling website was a huge gamble. But Wang’s is a tale of not only choosing the road less traveled, but also about having the instinct to follow the right path.


INDIE FASCINATION Wang, a New Orleans native, was interested in music from a very young age. Though New Orleans is famous for jazz, Wang was never one to go for the obvious choice. Instead, she was intrigued by underground music. “When I was 5, I started taking piano lessons, but I really hated it. In seventh grade I took guitar lessons, and was a little bit frustrated that

“At first, when I would explain what BuzzFeed was, it was difficult for people to wrap their heads around.”


—Peggy Wang



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we would learn Top 40 Songs. The first song I learned was ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ by Billy Ray Cyrus, and I was like, ‘Why am I learning this, this is not a song I actually like.’ I then had the opportunity to bring in obscure indie songs that I was into, which was cool.” Her father, who is a senior analyst at Tulane and who also owned a video store, was supportive of her interests, giving her a music allowance and letting her scour for music for hours at now defunct CD stores. As a child growing up in the late ’80s, early ’90s, Wang was hugely influenced by MTV. She nostalgically recounts the days of buying CDs and recording music from the radio on tapes. “There was a summer in high school that I discovered WTUL [the Tulane student-run radio station] and I became obsessed with it. I would listen to it during the day—because that’s when they played all the new indie stuff—and would sit there with a blank cassette tape and just record songs on it.” While New Orleans today has a vibrant scene that bands small and large make sure to hit, indie groups coming through New Orleans were a bit of a rarity then. But Wang dug and found them, sporting a fake ID to sneak in just to see shows, and later, opening for them while she was in a band during her Tulane years. This knack for discovering the undiscovered is a constant trait in Wang’s personality, be it finding obscure music, spotting trends, or later—having the guts to leave a cushy job for an uncertain startup. INTERNET DISCOVERY It was at Isidore Newman School in the uptown neighborhood of New Orleans that Wang discovered computer science and made a connection that would change the course of her career a decade later. It so happened that Jonah Peretti, later co-founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, taught at Newman before going to grad school. He assigned his students to create a website. That assignment was a seminal moment when Wang learned how the internet could be a space for artistic expression. “The internet was a very new thing at the time, and Jonah brought to light how the internet was a vessel for art and writing. For my website, I picked this really pretentious name, and found some cool vintage clip art, put it together, coded the links, and put all of my writing up on it. It was a way people could read my work that wasn’t print.” When Wang went off to college at Tulane University, she chose to major in something practical, choosing computer science over writing. “I didn’t have the confidence to think that I could do writing as a career. I learned how to code as a stepping-stone to making something that was a vessel for creativity. How to flex my left-brain, logic muscle, in order to facilitate the more artistic things I wanted to do.” After graduating from Tulane, Wang moved to New York, using her computer science degree to get the jobs she wanted, even though it wasn’t the work she wanted to be doing. She started as a web developer at the revered concert hall, The Knitting Factory, and later, a coder with her dream employer: MTV. With a secure job to pay the bills, she continued to play in bands—at first, a group called The Dares, then, Metric Mile, and finally, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. With The Pains, Wang gained recognition, and traveled to Creative Spirit play not just in North America, but also Asia, Previous pages: Peggy Europe and Australia. Wang chills at the BuzzFeed offices in Manhattan in May 2017. Facing page, top: Wang performs with her band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart in Los Angeles on Oct. 13, 2011. Bottom: At BuzzFeed, Wang plays a pivotal role in the company’s success.

JUMP TO A STARTUP Around the same time she joined the band, in 2006, Wang reconnected with her former high school teacher, Peretti, who approached her to join his startup, a budding website called BuzzFeed. But the job was not as a techie—instead, as a writer. “It was risky—I was a coder at MTV, and making more money probably than someone working as a trends editor at a startup. It also wasn’t a traditional

writing job—it was identifying trends before they happened. It was scary.” In its early days, the site leaned more toward sophomoric lists. “The 21 Absolute Worst Things in the World” features frustrating, funny and relatable images, like cookies not fitting into a glass of milk. After inspiring many other websites to take on lists, BuzzFeed evolved. Wang explains, “The BuzzFeed format then was totally different than the format now. Jonah figured out the framework. There was a technology piece behind it, where the developer tried to figure out the tech we could build that might be able to surface these things. He built a trend detector. I was the guinea pig for trying it and giving feedback. “So it was a mix of tech and human curating. The next piece of it was when we started making list posts—which is obviously a huge format, and our bread and butter basically.” In the beginning of her time at BuzzFeed, Wang continued to play and tour with the musical group. Wang downplays her talent, saying with self-deprecating humor, “I’m not by any means a good technical musician at all. I’m also a terrible singer—I sing backup. I had trouble singing in tune, but thankfully it was the kind of music where you put a ton of reverb on it, and you can pull it off. I have expertise on a very narrow genre of music.” Her success tells a different story about her talent, but her selfdescription gives insight into the thinking process that makes her such a relatable writer: She is able to distill with specificity what needs to be done for a successful outcome. She explains her team’s creative process: “We break into groups and ask some kind of probing question that allows writers to come up with ideas based on their personal identity or experiences. So, an example might be something like, ‘What’s something that frustrates you about a beauty product in your makeup bag?’ We regroup and share, and it gives everyone—not just the loudest voices in the room—a fair opportunity to chime in.” Wang has a knack for being able to break down a problem to find the swiftest and simplest solution, whether it comes to music, cooking or renovating your apartment for cheap. She used that skill to develop the “hacks”—quick solutions to frustrating problems—that BuzzFeed is so famous for. She writes articles like “Lazy Girl Hairstyling Hacks,” which explain to readers how to make a messy bun stylish or get away with only washing half of your hair. “With hacks, I was able to frame it as problem-solving around certain things. What is annoying about cooking that could make the average person’s life easier? That led me to think of two-ingredient recipes, or three-ingredient desserts.” BUZZFEED TAKES OFF For five years, Wang played in an underground band, and worked for an underground website. Then, in 2012, BuzzFeed took off. “At first, when I would explain what BuzzFeed was, it was difficult for people to wrap their heads around. Then, there came a point when friends of mine were reading BuzzFeed. When my parents knew what it was—that’s when I felt validated that I made the right career choice.” With BuzzFeed now booming, Wang came to a crossroads, and had to choose whether to commit to the band, or to the startup. She chose to leave The Pains to stay with a company that she had helped to build, and took on a new role as the DIY editor. Being do-it-yourself editor meant more writing—and more leadership. “Because I was the person making the content, it was a slow movement toward leadership. I was a writer. Then I started managing 50 people.” Wang helped develop a platform where not only she can be creative while having a stable career, but offer numerous jobs for other writers and lifestyle experts. As both a creative and a team leader, Wang fulfills both her artistic and entrepreneurial halves. “As the company grew, I had to learn how to lead, which was challenging, coming from someone who is pretty shy. I had spent most of my time with my head down, writing BuzzFeed posts. But I love being able to follow my instincts and having a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions. I want BuzzFeed to be as hugely successful as it can be.”

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ALUMNI IN AFGHANISTAN Last year, Maj. Phillip V. Parry (G ’04, M ’08) was one of four deployed Tulane School of Medicine alumni at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. He was deployed with Lt. Col. Edward R. Anderson III (M ’00), Maj. Daniel M. Anderson (M ’08) and Col. Stacy Shackelford (M ’93).


Tour for Good Whether your ideal vacation involves spotting pink river dolphins from a corner of the Amazon rainforest, gorilla trekking in Rwanda or gazing up at the awe-inspiring aurora borealis in Alaska, Gondwana Ecotours can be your global guide to extraordinary remote destinations. Founded by Jared Sternberg (L ’13), the New Orleans–based company provides sustainable travel through its curated itineraries. Sternberg’s passion for travel stemmed from family trips he took while in high school. “Seeing other parts of the world—both beautiful and impoverished places—opened my eyes. It lit a fire in me to see more,” said Sternberg. During his last year of law school, Sternberg began planning small group adventures, and his business grew organically from there. Named for the ancient land mass that was once part of the Pangaea supercontinent, Gondwana currently offers seven trips spanning three continents. “The name jumped out at me. I liked the idea of bringing people and places back together again,” he said. The tours provide a unique experience for the traveler but also benefit the locals who call those destinations home. Sternberg donates about 10 percent of the tour profits back to the communities visited. He also collaborates with nonprofit groups, works with locally owned and eco-friendly hotels and pays carbon offsets for guests’ flights. “We offer a very intimate, educational experience that you can’t get on your own or with another company,” said Sternberg. The Alaskan Northern Lights expedition is Sternberg’s most popular trip. Guests are invited to stay at an off-the-grid homestead near Fairbanks, Alaska. During their stay, they can learn to dogsled with a team of rescue dogs, walk with reindeer, take a dip in a hot spring and even learn the sport of curling. To students hoping to launch careers as entrepreneurs, Sternberg said: “Know what you want and don’t give up. Also, work backwards. Ask yourself: Where do I want to be, and how will I get there?”—Mary Cross


Unique vacations Jared Sternberg was inspired by family vacations to create Gondwana Ecotours, where travelers’ experiences also benefit their destinations.

Each year Tulane rolls out the green carpet for its reuniting undergraduate classes. This year’s Wave ’17 Homecoming, Reunion, and Family Weekend will be held Nov. 3–5, and Tulane will be celebrating class years ending in 2s and 7s. Reunions are one of the university’s signature events, featuring class parties, tailgating on the LBC and Newcomb quads, and other activities on campus and around New Orleans, said Tulane Alumni Association president Larry Connelley, who is co-chair of the class of 1997’s 20th reunion committee. Reunion discount hotel rooms are now available for alumni returning to campus in November, including rooms at the Windsor Court Hotel and the New Orleans Marriott. Said Connelley, “Wave ’17 is the perfect time to reunite with classmates, with Tulane and with New Orleans. I am returning to raise a helluva hullabaloo this year, and I hope others will, too.” For more information on reunions please contact reunions@tulane.edu or call 504-8655901. To learn more about hotel rooms please visit reunions.tulane.edu.—Will Burdette

CLASS ACTS Tulane alumni from class years ending in 2s or 7s are encouraged to get involved with Wave ’17. Alumni input and involvement make class reunions a success.



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Dispatch Ellen Blue W H E R E

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1940s On April 12, 2017, U.S. District Judge PETER BEER (B ’49, L ’52) celebrated his 89th birthday. He has been a judge since 1972, a total of 45 years. 1950s GEORGE DEXTER (G ’59) is 92 years old, retired and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He stays active with projects such as writing a book about his family history. 1960s In The Double Life: A Survivor’s Guide to Transcend Success and Tragedy, DAVID LEE CAMPBELL (L ’60) examines the intricacies of life as a gay man and prominent attorney in New Orleans during the 1960s. He recounts his entry into the city’s historic preservation movement in the 1980s, when he became the first person to convert a warehouse into a private residence in the Central Business District and describes his eventual retreat to the sanctity of a nature preserve in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.

JIM W. JONES (M ’66, G ’79) published his fourth book, Live Better While You Age, which received a favorable review from Publishers Weekly. Jones, a retired cardiovascular surgeon and visiting professor of medicine and medical ethics at Baylor College of Medicine, employs his professional expertise as well as his personal experiences in this book on aging in good health. Attorney at law DANIEL RYAN (A&S ’66) has received the James R. Wade Service Award from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, known as (ISC)². Ryan was selected to receive the award because of his efforts as a volunteer legal counsel for the (ISC)² board of directors. (ISC)² is a cybersecurity membership association with more than 123,000 members worldwide. DOLLIANN HURTIG (NC ’67, G ’82) has been a professor for 31 years at Louisiana Tech University and has been made a Chevalier by the Ministry of Education in the Palmes Academiques in Paris, France. Hurtig is the editor-in-chief of two books on Francophone cinema and is presently working on a third book. She has also assumed the presidency of the CODOFIL Consortium of Colleges and Universities in Louisiana. ERIC A. GORDON (G ’69, ’78) retired as the Southern California director of the Workmen’s Circle/ Arbeter Ring in 2011. Gordon has written an unpublished autobiography in which he discusses his Tulane experience during the Vietnam War. He also writes arts and cultural criticism for People’s World, an online newspaper.


On March 3, 2017, EDWARD GERALD GINGOLD (A&S ’66) was honored at the Combined Federal Campaign Finale in Washington, D.C., with a Special Services Award for the successful management of fundraising over the last 13 years. Gingold is also a staff attorney with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has been in government service for nearly 39 years.

RESEARCHING RESURRECTION After Hurricane Katrina floodwaters destroyed 70 of its churches around the Gulf Coast region and displaced 90 pastors, the United Methodist Church (UMC) faced the arduous task of resurrecting its New Orleans community. In her book In Case of Katrina: Reinventing the Church in Post-Katrina New Orleans, Ellen Blue (G ’02) delves into how the UMC rebuilt its local infrastructure. The book also addresses steps that the church is taking on issues of rising sea levels and coastal restoration. Blue, a Louisiana native and a professor at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earned a PhD in history from Tulane. She has been teaching courses melding women’s studies with the history of Christianity for 14 years. Blue shared a personal connection to the Crescent City’s recovery. Her son acted as a first responder during the hurricane’s aftermath and lost his family home to the storm. “We were here the weekend before the storm hit, and I began this book the day after landfall. It was evident to me that the UMC was going to be in a unique position,” she said. “Living in Oklahoma also gave me enough objectivity to be able to see things that people living here at the time couldn’t see.” From 2008 through 2009, Blue researched how the church was re-establishing its local roots. “I spent that year in New Orleans visiting every United Methodist Church that I could, experiencing what went on here. We are in an organization where a bishop sends pastors to churches, and where the larger structure holds title to the property. We are in a relationship with one another and are responsible for one another in a way that a lot of denominations are not.” The UMC built diverse ministry teams, bringing together African-American and white congregations in each zone of the city. In the book, Blue highlights the First Grace United Methodist Church, noting that the current congregation resulted from two churches merging together in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood. “Those two churches would never have merged before the storm. Now, they have created this wonderful, thriving congregation where there is truly a mixture of different worship styles,” said Blue.—MARY CROSS

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Dispatch Mary Kathryn Nagle 1970s SARALYN JACOBSON RICHARD (NC ’71) has sold her debut mystery novel, Murder in the One Percent, to Black Opal Books to be published in the coming year. She is also the author of Naughty Nana, a children’s picture book.


DAVID A. GLADDEN (A&S ’72), the CEO of Martin Wine Cellar and Wines Unlimited in Louisiana, retired on July 12, 2016. During his 44 years of employment, Martin Wine Cellar expanded from the original uptown New Orleans retail location by adding bistro, deli and catering operations and stores in Metairie, Mandeville and Baton Rouge. Wines Unlimited became a renowned importer and statewide distributor of fine wines and spirits. He has been married to Kathleen Maglio Gladden since 1976.

LAW OF THE LAND In March, Fairly Traceable, a play by Mary Kathryn Nagle (L ’08), premiered in the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles. Delving into climate change’s impact on Native American communities, the work was inspired by Nagle’s experience in the environmental law program at Tulane. Set post-Katrina, the legal drama is a love story between a Ponca man and a Chitimacha woman who is a Tulane law student. A nationally acclaimed playwright, Nagle is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a partner at Pipestem Law Firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She also serves as executive director for the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program. The chance to study environmental law with professor Oliver Houck at Tulane Law School initially drew Nagle to New Orleans. A character in Fairly Traceable is based on Houck. “He impacted my career both as a playwright and as a lawyer,” Nagle said. “The play’s title comes from a legal doctrine that professor Houck taught me about.” The “fairly traceable” doctrine surfaced during the 1992 case of Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife. The doctrine, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, states that a plaintiff has to prove that harm they have suffered is fairly traceable to the conduct of the defendant and not a third party, making it harder for climate change victims to hold accountable companies profiting from environmental destruction. Nagle’s play was also shaped by stories of tribes who have suffered environmental crises, such as the Ponca Tribe. The tribe was ousted from its ancestral homeland by the government and endured a tornado during its Trail of Tears march toward Oklahoma in the late 1800s. “That was something to wrap my head around. What’s it like to lose your home that’s been yours for thousands of years? I think that resonated with me, because a lot of people after Katrina were asking, ‘How could this have happened?’” she said. “So I brought in a character from the tribe who was also impacted by southern Louisiana’s fight to survive.” Nagle hopes that audiences take away an understanding of the legal doctrine. “I also want them to understand tribal sovereignty and what it means for tribal nations to lose their homeland and then try to use U.S. law to save it,” she said. Nagle hopes to stage a future production of Fairly Traceable in New Orleans. —MARY CROSS


JOEL SOROSKY (A&S ’73) is professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Abington Hospital, part of Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. A gynecologic oncologist with the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Sorosky has been appointed as a governor of the American College of Surgeons. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, he spent 10 years on the faculty of the University of Connecticut and 11 years on the faculty of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. He and his wife, Debra, a CPA, live in Bucks County, outside of Philadelphia with their therapy dogs, two Rhodesian Ridgebacks and a Doberman puppy. Both of their sons are attorneys, one in Phoenix and one in Chicago. DAVID MCLAIN (M ’74) was the symposium director for the 33rd annual Congress of Clinical Rheumatology, which was held in Destin, Florida, in April. JUDY KOZONIS SNIDER (SW ’75) and her husband, Gil, released the wedding dance song “What More Can I Say” on digital sites and YouTube. They wrote the lyrics, which were sung by Edith Eloise. Go to Snider’s website, www.judysnider. com, to hear the full song. MARK OLIVARI (UC ’76) lives with his wife, Susan, an oil painter, and their daughter, Isabella, in Saluda, North Carolina. Susan runs The Art House in East Flat Rock, while Olivari operates Scroungers Paradise in Asheville, North Carolina. Olivari is a well-known artist and is having an exhibit at the Asheville airport through June 25. He also travels with a nonprofit called Spreading Smiles Across the World. EDWARD CHURCH BUSH (A&S ’77), vice president of Dorsey and Co. Investments, has been elected as president of the board of directors of the Synod of the Sun Presbyterian Foundation. Louisiana and Texas commercial banking executive KEVIN RAFFERTY (A&S ’78, B ’84) is at Whitney Bank. With senior banking experience spanning almost 40 years, Rafferty is the executive vice president responsible for business development in Whitney’s Greater New Orleans


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Dispatch Chris Andrews W H E R E

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and Houston markets. He also serves on the national board of directors for Rebuilding Together, a leading national nonprofit organization with 146 affiliate chapters to help low-income homeowners rehabilitate the safety and health of their homes and revitalize communities.

1980s RANDY EBNER (L ’80) is vice president and general counsel of ExxonMobil, overseeing more than 420 lawyers working in every region of the world. Ebner started working as a law clerk in Exxon’s New Orleans office during his last semester at Tulane Law School.

JEFFREY GODSICK (A&S ’83) is the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s new branding division. Godsick left his post as president of Fox Consumer Products to become the executive vice president of worldwide partnerships for Sony’s motion picture group in 2016. A. JAY BINDER (M ’86, PHTM ’86) joined Crescent City Orthopedics in Metairie, Louisiana, and is practicing orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. Binder serves as chair of the Medical Task Force and is a national team physician for USA Gymnastics. For the past 12 years, he has served on the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Medical Commission. Binder was also recently elected as vice chairman of the board of directors for USA Gymnastics and was named vice president of the new FIG Medical/Scientific Commission. KITTY CLEVELAND ROGERS (NC ’88) released her 10th CD, “Hail, Holy Queen,” which charted at No. 10 on Billboard’s traditional classical chart. Rogers’ music ranges from jazz standards to Gregorian chants. CYNTHIA “TIA” KAISER FERGUSON (E ’89) was appointed to the Senior Executive Service position of deputy within the Space Systems Department at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Space Systems Department is responsible for designing, developing, assembling, integrating, testing and delivering flight, ground, prototype and development products for human space flight programs, science investigations and exploration initiatives. Ferguson manages a diverse, highly technical workforce of approximately 560 civil service and contractor employees located in six divisions and 18 branches. She is married to Jim Ferguson. They live in Huntsville, Alabama, and have two children.

1990s MIKE SACKS (A&S ’90) re-released the long-outof-print novelization of the infamous 1977 trucking and CB adventure movie Stinker Lets Loose!


GARY ALAN LUCKS (A&S ’82) had the second edition of his book California Environmental Law and Policy: A Practical Guide published by Solano Press. Used by law schools, colleges and environmental practitioners, the book summarizes federal and California environmental laws and policies.

FIGHTING BACK Tulane University alumnus Chris Andrews (TC ’94) and his wife, Pam, received heartbreaking news last year when their two daughters, Belle, now 7, and Abby, now 2, were diagnosed with a rare, neurodegenerative genetic disease called Niemann-Pick Type C1 (NPC1). Since their diagnosis, the Andrews family is inspiring and giving other families hope with their courage and determination. People magazine published an article about their journey in the March 7 issue. NPC1 is sometimes referred to as “childhood Alzheimer’s.” Children with NPC1 cannot process lipids efficiently, causing them to build up, most dramatically affecting the brain, liver, spleen and lungs. Most children do not live to adulthood. There is currently no cure. The Andrews family persisted in finding help for their two girls. They began researching NPC1 and building a large community of support. At first they traveled from their Austin, Texas, home to Chicago every other week, participating in a clinical trial for infusions of VTS-270, a drug that may slow the progression of the disease. But today children with NPC1 can receive the medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin. “With an absolute herculean effort, my wife was able to get a trial site opened in Austin. It was an amazing accomplishment,” Chris Andrews said. “We do have to go back to Chicago periodically, and the NIH in Maryland as well, but not every two weeks. It has taken a tremendous burden off our family.” To raise money for neurodegenerative research, the Andrews family created the Firefly Fund, which they launched with celebrities including journalist Dan Rather and a video by actor Matthew McConaughey. The nonprofit’s mission is “to fund the acceleration of research and education needed to find a cure for neurodegenerative diseases affecting children.” The family seeks to share hope, information and the joy of living with other NPC1 families. “Our house is a very fun-filled, laughter-filled house,” Pam Andrews said in the video. “We live with a tremendous amount of hope.”—FAITH DAWSON

The book includes a foreword written by Sacks, the film’s original ads, 25 black-and-white movie stills and a blurb from author David Sedaris, who says, “This novelization stinks!” DAVID GAUS (M ’92, PHTM ’92) is the founder of Andean Health & Development (AHD), the recipient of the 2017 Global Humanitarian Award from the American College of Radiology. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the found-

ing of AHD in rural Ecuador by Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame. AHD operates two rural hospitals in Ecuador that train local doctors in family medicine and provide high-quality care. LISA HIRSCH (NC ’93) married Andrew Mark Solomon on March 18, 2007, at the Sunstone Villa in Santa Ynez, California, with cantor Mark Childs presiding. Hirsch is the CEO and founder of The

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SWEET SUCCESS This October, Rob Nelson (B ’88) will be inducted into the 2017 Candy Hall of Fame in Tampa, Florida. Nelson is the president/CEO of Elmer Chocolate in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Elmer Chocolate is locally known for Easter favorites Gold Brick and Heavenly Hash candies.


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Studio (MDR), a boutique fitness studio with several locations in Los Angeles. Solomon is the CEO of Sole Society, a web-based lifestyle brand of women’s shoes, handbags and accessories.

in New Orleans. Hegarty founded the company to tackle the challenge of improving the health of Louisiana’s residents using high-quality nutrition care and technology.

Stites & Harbison PLLC welcomed CHRISTINE TENLEY (L ’98) as a partner. Tenley’s practice focuses on a wide range of employment law disciplines, including restrictive covenants and trade secrets litigation, employment litigation under federal and state employment statutes, traditional labor matters, and wage and hour collective actions.

MARGARET “PEGGY” WELSH (L ’09) was named a partner at Gordon, Arata, McCollam, Duplantis & Eagan LLC. She focuses her practice in the areas of corporate, real estate, oil and gas and securities transactions as well as handling regulatory issues before federal agencies. Before joining the firm, Welsh worked as a transactional associate in New York at a London-based firm. Welsh also serves as membership director for the South Louisiana Chapter of Women’s Energy Network.

W. FORD GRAHAM (TC ’99) joined the Charleston, South Carolina, global law firm K&L Gates LLP as a lawyer in corporate and economic incentives/development practices. Previously, Graham worked with the South Carolina Department of Commerce, where he managed international recruiting efforts and led global investment strategy for the state.

2000s DEREK BARDELL (G ’01, ’02) is a Delgado Community College professor of business administration and teaching and learning in New Orleans. He has been named the 2017 Higher Education Professional of the Year by the Louisiana Council for Exceptional Children. ZAROUHIE ABDALIAN (NC ’03) was a featured artist in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, which opened on March 17, 2017, in New York. Abdalian creates sculptural and sound installations that explore intersections between site, memory and meaning. MORGAN RIBEIRO (NC ’05) was promoted to chief business development officer at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP, a leading provider of legal services to the healthcare, financial services, technology, retail and hospitality industries. In her new position, she will focus on securing new business and growing existing business in a legal marketplace that has grown increasingly competitive in recent years. MADINA PAPADOPOULOS (NC ’06) published her debut novel, The Step-Spinsters. Papadopoulos works as a lifestyle freelance writer in New York. PATRICIA RIDDLEBARGER (B ’06) has been named as a Top 10 Corporate Executive of the Year by LATINA Style Magazine. As director of corporate social responsibility at Entergy, Riddlebarger develops ways to create sustainable value for the company’s shareholders, 2.8 million customers, 13,000 employees and communities in eight states. She also founded Latinas Lead!, a networking organization providing support and connections for fellow professional Latinas in the New Orleans area. Molly Hegarty and BRETT LONG (SLA ’09, SSE ’09) raised $250,000 in seed funding from Lafayette General Foundation’s Health Innovation Fund for RDnote, a digital health startup based


2010s ANNIE PEYTON (A ’11) was awarded the prestigious Luce Scholarship in February 2016. The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program that provides individualized professional placement in Asia for up to 18 Luce scholars each year. Peyton spent two months going through a language-immersion program in Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand. After the program, she moved to Bangkok, where she is working with a small landscape architecture and urban design firm called Landprocess. In 2016, ANN DAVIS (SLA ’12) founded Venture With Impact LLC, an organization that arranges accommodation, workspace and volunteer experiences for professionals who live and travel abroad. The organization’s mission is to provide a positive social impact while exposing professionals to new cultures, people and ideas. Davis celebrated a successful launch in Trujillo, Peru, and plans expansion. FLYNN ZAIGER (B ’12) is the founder and CEO of Online Optimism, a digital marketing agency that was named one of New Orleans’ best places to work in 2015 and 2016. Zaiger started the company in 2012. As manager of a Google partner agency, he is dedicated to helping businesses create websites, interact with customers via social media and calculate return on investment for interactive ad campaigns on multiple platforms. At New Orleans Entrepreneur Week 2017, Zaiger gave a lecture discussing how companies can ­find innovative ways to motivate millennial staff members. A recipient of a Presidential Doctoral Fellowship at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, EDWARD BRITTMAN (SLA ’13) is completing his second year of doctoral studies in U.S. history.

Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan. Parts of the film were shot in Enid, Oklahoma, last year. In fall 2016, MICHELLE SWAFFORD (SLA ’16) was appointed adjunct assistant professor in the Newcomb Art Department at Tulane, where she teaches beginning ceramics. Swafford has exhibited her sculptural ceramic work in several shows, including a solo exhibition at Barrister’s Gallery in New Orleans.

KEY TO SCHOOLS SLA (School of Liberal Arts) SSE (School of Science and Engineering) A (School of Architecture) B (A. B. Freeman School of Business) L (Law School) M (School of Medicine) SW (School of Social Work) PHTM (School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine) SCS (School of Continuing Studies) A&S (College of Arts and Sciences, the men’s liberal arts and sciences college that existed until 1994) TC ( The College of Arts and Sciences changed its name to Tulane College in 1994 and existed until 2006) NC (Newcomb College. Women liberal arts and sciences students graduated from Newcomb College until 2006) E (School of Engineering) G (Graduate School) UC (University College, the school for part-time adult learners. The college’s name was changed to the School of Continuing Studies in 2006.)



MELISSA HERRIN (SCS ’16) married Stephen Sundquist in New Orleans on Oct. 22, 2016. Herrin is a legal administrator at the law firm Cowan & Lemmon and a member of the Association of Legal Administrators.

OCTOBER 1, 2017

CORRY LANE (B ’16) worked as an intern on the set of the independent film Wildlife, starring Jake



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Tribute Christina Vella F A R E W E L L Mary Hanley Newell (NC ’34) of Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Dec. 12, 2016. Richard E. Swann Jr. (B ’39) of Dallas on Jan. 16, 2017. Olga Lachin Cazenavette (NC ’40) of New Orleans on Feb. 6, 2017. Sylvia Duncan Macdonald (NC ’40) of New Orleans on Jan. 25, 2017. Estelle Brunila Brown (NC ’42) of Francestown, New Hampshire, on March 6, 2017. Isidore Cohn Jr. (A&S ’42) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Oct. 14, 2015. Marie Wakeman Cole (NC ’42) of Springfield, Virginia, on April 2, 2014. Howard Quittner (A&S ’42, M ’44) of New Orleans on Feb. 12, 2017. Wilson F. “Bill” Minor (A&S ’43) of Jackson, Mississippi, on March 28, 2017.

William C. Owen Jr. (A&S ’44) of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, on Jan. 21, 2017. Guyton H. Watkins (A&S ’44, L ’46) of New Iberia, Louisiana, on Nov. 12, 2016. Barbara Stewart Sayes (NC ’45, SW ’49) of Tallahassee, Florida, on Jan. 3, 2017. Evelyn Blust Baker (NC ’46) of West Chester, Pennsylvania, on Jan. 31, 2017. John R. Black (M ’46) of Santa Monica, California, on June 10, 2016. C.D. Duke (B ’46) of Monterey, Virginia, on Oct. 4, 2016. Chester G. Lob (E ’46) of Lincoln, California, on Jan. 12, 2017. F.P. Mottram (E ’46) of Marco Island, Florida, on Feb. 27, 2017. Allen H. Johness Jr. (A&S ’47) of Covington, Louisiana, on March 9, 2017. Gary Albertine Sr. (A&S ’48) of Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 10, 2017. Merle Lemieux Gahagan (NC ’48) of Dallas on Dec. 28, 2016. Betty Davis Nolan (NC ’48) of New Orleans on Jan. 19, 2017. Vincent P. Randazzo Jr. (A&S ’48) of LaPlace, Louisiana, on Feb. 18, 2017. Charlotte Reynolds Rogers (NC ’48) of Katy, Texas, on Feb. 1, 2017.


Claude M. Pasquier Jr. (M ’43) of Shreveport, Louisiana, on Oct. 7, 2016.

BIOGRAPHER OF BARONESS DE PONTALBA Author and historian Christina Vella (G ’90) died in New Orleans on March 22, 2017. I still recall the day when Tulane professor emeritus Radomir Luza, a Czech freedom fighter whose high-ranking father had been assassinated by the Nazis, asked me to join her PhD dissertation committee. I was puzzled. Radomir taught and wrote about Eastern and Central European history in the 20th century. My union card consigned me to the history of the 19th-century South, particularly the Civil War and Reconstruction era. But I was also teaching Louisiana history. So I said, sure, partly because Radomir was a hard man to say no to. Christina wasn’t what I expected. She was diminutive, almost sparrow-like in her apparent frailty. And she spoke softly, in almost a honeyed tone. She brought the manuscript with her. The subject, the life and times of Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, seemed interesting, even exotic. Much of the action took place at a chateau in France where they had expatriated to around the time of the Louisiana Purchase, and in Paris. I had no inkling of the train wreck of Micaela’s marriage nor the attempt on her life by a father-in-law enraged over his inability to get his hands on her vast wealth. All I knew was that in the 1850s, her largesse had turned the parade ground now renamed Jackson Square into formal gardens, and that she had flanked them with those magnificent Pontalba Apartments. I started turning the pages shortly after she left, and all thought of having to wield an active blue pencil flew out the window. The manuscript didn’t even require so much as modest lapidary treatment. It was a polished gem already. What an amazing eye for the revealing detail, I told myself. And her prose voice, the easy grace, the clarity, the instinct for the story that would instruct readers by grabbing their attention and never letting go. I was well and truly hooked. I can’t remember what advice I proffered when we met again. I think I suggested a few books and articles she might want to consult, plus a few potted plants of bibliography to insert here and there. She wrote other fine books, usually in the belfry of the church she and her ex-husband had renovated. She did all this while homeschooling two brilliant daughters and dancing, if not with the stars, then with the best tango dancers in New Orleans. Her interests were catholic, her energy was boundless. She was not only a fine historian, but something even rarer, a fine writer. And she left us way too early. —LAWRENCE N. POWELL is an author, historian and professor emeritus in the Tulane University Department of History; he holds the James H. Clark Endowed Chair in American Civilization. He has written several books, including 2012’s The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans.

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F A R E W E L L Gladys Bloom Van Horn (NC ’48) of New Orleans on Dec. 12, 2016.

Sally Kastler Howard (NC ’52) of Denver on Nov. 16, 2016.

Richard B. Washburn (B ’56) of West Hartford, Connecticut, on Jan. 27, 2017.

C.T. Alpaugh Jr. (E ’49) of New Orleans on Feb. 18, 2017.

Marvin B. Rothenberg (A&S ’52, M ’56) of Atlanta on Jan. 3, 2017.

Jack K. Winn (B ’56) of Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 30, 2016.

Saul H. Barber (B ’49) of Metairie, Louisiana, on March 15, 2017.

Edward R. Westmark (A&S ’52) of Pensacola, Florida, on March 5, 2017.

Warren V. Wulfekuhler (M ’56) of LaPorte, Minnesota, on March 5, 2017.

Carl F. Henneberg Sr. (B ’49) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 18, 2017.

Jack K. Clemons (M ’53) of Albertville, Alabama, on Feb. 15, 2017.

Mary Ann Rose Bernard (NC ’58) of Lafayette, Louisiana, on Jan. 27, 2017.

Edward N. Lambremont Jr. (A&S ’49, G ’51) of Fairhope, Alabama, on March 15, 2017.

John R. Mayer (B ’53) of Covington, Louisiana, on March 24, 2017.

Patricia Planche Bopp (UC ’58) of New Orleans on Dec. 1, 2016.

Elaine Bresler Weiss (NC ’49) of Windsor, Colorado, on March 9, 2017.

Edward J. Petroski (A&S ’53) of Abilene, Texas, on Feb. 24, 2017.

Jacquelyn Donnelly Himel (NC ’58) of Houston on Jan. 12, 2017.

Charles L. Brown Jr. (A&S ’50, M ’53) of New Orleans on Jan. 14, 2017.

Alan R. Wickersham (A&S ’53) of Sylacauga, Alabama, on Dec. 20, 2016.

Milton H. Donaldson (M ’59) of Gaithersburg, Maryland, on Dec. 16, 2016.

Robert L. Drake (E ’50, ’57) of Eads, Tennessee, on Feb. 8, 2017.

Claude H. Babin (G ’54) of Monticello, Arkansas, on Feb. 25, 2017.

Ilene Seale Lyman (NC ’59) of Sulphur, Louisiana, on March 18, 2017.

Paul H. Estachy (A&S ’50) of Houston on Feb. 17, 2017.

Darwin C. Fenner (B ’54, ’69) of New Orleans on Jan. 10, 2017.

Arnold J. Prima Jr. (A ’59) of West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 4, 2016.

Jerald Feldman (A&S ’50) of Carrollton, Texas, on Feb. 18, 2017.

Frederick E. Lind Jr. (A&S ’54, M ’57) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on March 16, 2017.

Salvador J. Guercia (UC ’60) of Mandeville, Louisiana, on Jan. 22, 2017.

Dorothy Baer Huebner (NC ’50) of Bay City, Texas, on Dec. 13, 2016.

Gordon J. Sabol (A&S ’54) of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on March 14, 2017.

Neal F. Pendleton Jr. (A ’60) of Covington, Louisiana, on Jan. 21, 2017.

Michel G. Mailhes (B ’50) of New Orleans on Feb. 11, 2017.

Robert D. Seay (A ’54) of Wesley Chapel, Florida, on Jan. 7, 2017.

Mary Thomson Perrin (NC ’60) of New Orleans on Jan. 17, 2017.

Aylmer E. Montgomery Jr. (B ’50, L ’54) of Monroe, Louisiana, on Feb. 4, 2017.

Ray G. Thompson (A&S ’54) of Bossier City, Louisiana, on Feb. 18, 2017.

Tony A. Distler (G ’61, ’63) of Blacksburg, Virginia, on Dec. 28, 2016.

Thomas J. O’Hare Jr. (E ’50) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Feb. 2, 2017.

Eben T. Watkins III (B ’54) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Jan. 27, 2017.

Archie T. Grant Jr. (E ’61) of Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 13, 2017.

Harry P. Sneed Jr. (A&S ’50) of Long Beach, Mississippi, on Dec. 27, 2016.

C.B. Barfoot (A&S ’55) of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, on Dec. 22, 2016.

Hamilton E. Hunt (A&S ’61, M ’64) of Tampa, Florida, on Dec. 10, 2016.

John B. Arnold Jr. (A&S ’51) of Valparaiso, Florida, on Feb. 23, 2017.

Norman S. Brown (B ’55) of Wilson, North Carolina, on Feb. 22, 2017.

James E. Payne Jr. (M ’61) of San Antonio on March 17, 2017.

Robert R. Bender (A&S ’51) of Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 14, 2017.

Louis A. Heyd Jr. (A&S ’55, L ’59) of Mandeville, Louisiana, on Jan. 27, 2017.

Madeline Wood Tonti (B ’61) of Mandeville, Louisiana, on Jan. 6, 2017.

Gordon E. Clay Jr. (A&S ’51) of New Orleans on Dec. 27, 2016.

Norman Lazan (A&S ’55) of Phoenix on Jan. 26, 2017.

Franklin O. Brantley (G ’62, ’67) of Memphis, Tennessee, on March 3, 2017.

William S. Harwell (M ’51) of Houston on Nov. 17, 2016.

Rene S. Paysse Sr. (A&S ’55, L ’58) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Jan. 11, 2017.

Michael A. Russin (M ’62) of Miami on July 2, 2016.

Robert E. Leidenheimer (A&S ’51) of Falls Church, Virginia, on Jan. 4, 2017.

Joe W. Pitts Jr. (B ’55) of Houston on March 18, 2017.

Nelson P. Trujillo Sr. (M ’62) of Oxford, Maryland, on Feb. 12, 2017.

Jimmy J. Maniatis (A&S ’51) of Kilgore, Texas, on Jan. 4, 2017.

Patrick D. Staub (A ’55) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Feb. 22, 2017.

Raymond H. Hernandez Jr. (M ’63) of San Antonio on Dec. 27, 2016.

Robert L. Roane Jr. (E ’51) of Jeanerette, Louisiana, on March 1, 2017.

Gerald M. English (M ’56) of Boulder, Colorado, on Feb. 18, 2017.

John F. O’Neill Jr. (UC ’63) of New Orleans on March 23, 2017.

June Antley Vreeland (NC ’51) of Marietta, Georgia, on Jan. 1, 2017.

Elliot C. Evans (A&S ’56) of New Orleans on Jan. 29, 2017.

Thomas H. Hannon Jr. (E ’64, B ’66) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Dec. 28, 2016.

James H. Bostick Jr. (A&S ’52) of Germantown, Tennessee, on Feb. 15, 2017.

Hiram G. Haynie Jr. (M ’56) of Springfield, Louisiana, on Jan. 9, 2017.

Stanley E. Munsey Sr. (L ’64) of Madison, Alabama, on Jan. 22, 2017.



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GROUNDBREAKING ENGINEER Harold Rosen (E ’47), engineer, died in Santa Monica, California, on Jan. 30, 2017. In 1963, Rosen oversaw the team at Hughes Aircraft Co. in Glendale, California, that created the world’s first geosynchronous communications satellite, laying the foundation for a multibillion-dollar industry.

John B. Oblinger Jr. (G ’64) of Boulder, Colorado, on Dec. 26, 2016.

James N. Miller (G ’70) of Greensboro, North Carolina, on Dec. 12, 2016.

Kennard B. Ross Jr. (A&S ’83) of Austin, Texas, on March 10, 2017.

James M. Besselman (B ’65) of New Orleans on Feb. 21, 2017.

Billy R. Sandusky (G ’70) of South Bend, Indiana, on Dec. 20, 2016.

Frederick J. Bourgeois III (E ’84) of Felton, California, on Dec. 18, 2016.

Jule Henle Lang (NC ’65) of New Orleans on Jan. 30, 2017.

Mary Chopin Wendt (SW ’70) of New Orleans on March 10, 2017.

Richard C. Searle (A&S ’84) of Mill Valley, California, on March 16, 2017.

John D. Morvant (L ’65) of New Orleans on Feb. 20, 2017.

Lloyd W. Bennett Jr. (G ’71) of Greensboro, North Carolina, on Feb. 1, 2017.

Julianne Miskovich Port (B ’89) of Chicago on Jan. 6, 2017.

Gene D. Ratcliff (M ’65) of Hayden, Idaho, on March 1, 2017.

Mary Christopher (SW ’71) of San Antonio on May 19, 2016.

Philip E. Drysdale (L ’90) of Dublin, California, on Oct. 8, 2015.

George R. Thomas (SW ’65) of Athens, Georgia, on Feb. 10, 2017.

Aileen Killgore Davis (NC ’71) of Carbondale, Illinois, on Feb. 8, 2017.

Christie Hall (UC ’90, ’92) of Slidell, Louisiana, on Nov. 21, 2016.

Gerald G. Breaux (UC ’66) of Metairie, Louisiana, on Dec. 22, 2016.

Ella Herriage (PHTM ’71) of Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Dec. 30, 2016.

David W. Moore III (B ’90) of New Orleans on Jan. 11, 2017.

Bertrand P. Helm (G ’66) of Springfield, Missouri, on Feb. 6, 2017.

John S. Steiner (L ’71) of St. Louis, Missouri, on Feb. 26, 2017.

Amy Chauvin (SW ’93) of LaPlace, Louisiana, on Dec. 2, 2016.

Kenneth S. Hicks (A&S ’66) of Wildwood, Florida, on Dec. 16, 2016.

Lowell W. Newton (G ’72) of Floyds Knobs, Indiana, on Jan. 13, 2017.

Gregory L. Strickland (B ’93) of Houston on Dec. 26, 2016.

Janet Bienert Higgins (NC ’66) of River Ridge, Louisiana, on Jan. 28, 2017.

Thomas K. Armington (E ’74) of Simpsonville, South Carolina, on Dec. 22, 2016.

Randall R. Bosio (UC ’95) of Monterey, California, on Dec. 16, 2016.

Herbert N. Jolly Jr. (G ’66) of New Orleans on Feb. 27, 2017.

Frank E. Bryant (A&S ’74) of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on Oct. 13, 2016.

Beau P. Harvey (UC ’95) of Pittsboro, North Carolina, on April 18, 2014.

Mary Miller Keller (NC ’66) of Farmington, New Mexico, on Nov. 28, 2016.

June Fisher (PHTM ’74) of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 11, 2016.

Robert A. Taylor (UC ’99, ’04) of Cumberland, Wisconsin, on March 8, 2017.

J.L. Leonard III (M ’66) of Lafayette, Louisiana, on Feb. 16, 2017.

Stephen R. Meyer (A&S ’74, M ’79) of Covington, Louisiana, on Dec. 19, 2016.

Shontae Hewlett (E ’01) of New Orleans on Dec. 31, 2016.

Thomas E. Marzolf (SW ’66) of San Francisco on Jan. 27, 2017.

D.S. Deter (A&S ’76) of Atlantic, Iowa, on Jan. 10, 2017.

Scott R. Crouse (L ’02) of Opelika, Alabama, on March 5, 2017.

John T. Midyette III (A ’67) of Phoenix on Dec. 23, 2016.

Catherine Bohlke Edginton (NC ’78) of Titusville, Florida, on April 12, 2016.

Easterlyn McKendall (UC ’05) of New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2017.

Margaret Read Pontius (NC ’67) of San Antonio on March 2, 2017.

Shirley Ruckert (UC ’78) of Covington, Louisiana, on March 6, 2017.

Jonas E. Rosenberg (UC ’05) of Mount Kisco, New York, on Aug. 28, 2015.

Sharon Lingham Power (NC ’67) of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Jan. 9, 2017.

Judy Plotka Appelbaum (NC ’79) of St. Petersburg, Florida, on Jan. 15, 2017.

Giselle Dawn Robinson Thomas (SCS ’09) of Gretna, Louisiana, on Dec. 19, 2016.

Thomas L. Bower (M ’68) of Roswell, Georgia, on Dec. 19, 2016.

Robin Paulsen O’Neil (G ’79) of Placentia, California, on July 23, 2015.

Gwendolyn Archard (L ’12) of Media, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 24, 2016.

Donna Gustafson (NC ’69, L ’72) of Oakland, California, on April 2, 2015.

Jodelle Smith Wilson (PHTM ’80) of Oviedo, Florida, on Sept. 1, 2016.

Cameron Burton (PHTM ’14, ’15) of Glendale, California, on March 20, 2017.

Mary Sutton Hitt (UC ’69) of Luling, Louisiana, on Feb. 20, 2017.

Kathryn Margolin Richter (NC ’81) of Little Silver, New Jersey, on Jan. 13, 2017.

August P. Bourgeois (SCS ’15) of New Orleans on March 5, 2017.

Theodore J. Moses III (UC ’69) of Mandeville, Louisiana, on Feb. 11, 2017.

Steven A. Threefoot (G ’81) of Wilmington, Delaware, on Feb. 18, 2017.

M.W. Myers (A&S ’69) of Jacksonville, Florida, on Feb. 4, 2017.

Barry G. Campbell (PHTM ’82, G ’95) of Clarksville, Tennessee, on April 28, 2016.

Harold N. Baker (G ’70) of Austin, Texas, on Jan. 1, 2017.

Nathaniel W. Dorsey (UC ’82) of New Orleans on March 11, 2017.

George K. Herbert (G ’70) of Austin, Texas, on March 18, 2017.

Michael J. Benson (A&S ’83) of Irvine, California, on Feb. 16, 2017.

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MORE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Tulane University received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a certificate program focused on training graduate students for community-engaged research and teaching. The program is a collaborative effort among the School of Liberal Arts, the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, and the Center for Public Service.


Nearly 200 Tulane University endowed-scholarship recipients met the donors supporting their studies during the 2017 Celebration of Scholarship event, which was held in the Glazer Family Club at Yulman Stadium on March 19. This new Tulane tradition, in its second year, honors the impact of philanthropy in the lives of students and benefactors. Grace Hancock, a first-year law student from Atlanta and recipient of the Courtney Harrington LeBoeuf Environmental Law Scholarship Endowment, said that once she discovered the scholarship honors Courtney LeBoeuf (L ’03), an alumna who passed away after battling breast cancer, it gave more meaning to her study at Tulane. “I’ve learned that my scholarship was more than a name on a piece of paper. After meeting my donors, I realized that I’m not just going to law school for myself. I am doing it to carry on the legacy of a student who was just as passionate about environmental law as I am,” said Hancock. Inspired by her own experience of such generosity, keynote speaker Victoria Reggie Kennedy (NC ’76, L ’79), also shared her story of how a scholarship changed the course of her family’s life and how essential it is to return the favor. “Thanks to an initial scholarship awarded to my father, Judge Edmund Reggie (L ’49), my family was able to have the Tulane dream,” said Kennedy. “Tulane changes lives, and I hope everyone keeps giving back for the next generation of scholars.”—Caroline McDougall


Gift for K-12 STEM Honors Altiero In the 17 years he has served as dean of the schools of Engineering (2000-2005) and Science and Engineering (2006-2017), Nicholas J. Altiero has been recognized as an innovator and leader in engineering education. To honor Altiero’s personal and academic commitment to supporting K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, Tulane alumni and friends have established the Nick and Amy Altiero Directorship for K-12 STEM Education, a role that operates at the intersection of community service and academic leadership. The current director of the Tulane University Center for K-12 STEM Education and Outreach, professor of practice Michelle Sanchez, said, “The Nick and Amy Altiero Directorship for K-12 STEM Education will ensure that Tulane University impacts future generations of scientists and engineers in New Orleans and beyond, making STEM outreach and education an institutional commitment.” Altiero is stepping down in June 2017 but will stay involved in STEM outreach. Lead donors Richard Mayer (E ’79) and his wife, Susan, hope their gift will help Tulane carry on Altiero’s legacy. They value his dedication to K-12 STEM education, the firsthand impact of the center and Sanchez’s visionary leadership. Sanchez added, “The center will continue Dean Altiero’s dedication to the K-12 community by giving more local, underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged students valuable handson experiences, empowering them to pursue science, technology, engineering or mathematics careers.” In addition to the Mayers, a number of the School of Science and Engineering advisory board members have already given to this fund. Tulane’s K-12 STEM education programs are vibrant, serving 3,000 K-12 students and teachers each year. Since Sanchez became director in fall 2012, Tulane has been bringing 530 students to campus annually, but that number climbed to 800 in 2016. Organizers hope to raise $1 million for the endowed fund.—Mary Sparacello



Legacy of Learning

Innovative Dean Thanks to a gift on behalf of Nick Altiero (above) and his wife, Amy, K-12 STEM education will continue to thrive at Tulane’s education and outreach center.

PHILANTHROPIC DAY Tulane alumna Victoria Reggie Kennedy (NC ’76, L ’79) served as keynote speaker for the 2017 Celebration of Scholarship.


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FRENCH INFLUENCE Jeff Klein (A&S ’93), a successful hotelier and the owner of the iconic Sunset Tower on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip, has established an endowed fund to support immersive French study in honor of retiring French professor Elizabeth Poe, who inspired him to learn French and follow his dreams.


Paul Tulane Society Inducts New Members


Eight donors who gave a cumulative $1 million or more to the university received the Paul Tulane Society medal at the society’s induction on March 15.

Eight of Tulane University’s most generous benefactors, individuals and organizations were inducted into the Paul Tulane Society during a ceremony at the Old Ursuline Convent in New Orleans’ French Quarter on March 15. It was the 11th induction ceremony for the society, which honors donors who have given cumulative gifts of $1 million or more to the university. “Our newest inductees are a testament to the example that Paul Tulane set when he envisioned a great private university in the city of New Orleans,” said Tulane University President Mike Fitts. “They embody his spirit of generosity and service, and exemplify his commitment to the power of higher education to improve people’s lives.” This year’s inductees are Baptist Com­ munity Ministries, the estate of Irene and

The Paul Tulane Society honors donors who have given cumulative gifts of $1 million or more. Robert (M ’41) Black, Ann and Robert (E ’80, B ’81) Boh, Judith and Sam (A&S ’64) Camp, the Coypu Foundation, the estate of Thelma Toole, Marta and Bill (E ’81, ’83) Marko, and Lora and Don (A&S ’81) Peters. The Paul Tulane Society currently includes more than 260 members, with gifts to Tulane ranging from $1 million to $30 million. “Tulane is stronger because of your commitment,” said President Fitts, addressing

the breadth and depth of support the group had offered the university. “You have opened doors to exceptional young men and women, invigorated faculty with support of their discovery and invention, and enhanced programs and initiatives that benefit students and people in the communities they serve. The profound impact you have touches every corner of the university.” —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.



Yeah, Yeah, Yeah by Angus Lind One of my favorite places to chill out is truly a trip back in time—the stylishly decadent Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. Watching the streetcars pass by under the historic oaks while sipping a drink on the spacious veranda is a true New Orleans moment. You don’t have to keep your eyes peeled for the streetcars. Even if you’re talking, you’ll know. You’ll not only hear them but you’ll also feel them coming. Because there’s that unmistakable rumble they create. The electric motor has a distinct familiar sound—that of an old friend rambling by. But on this weekday evening, I’ve evacuated the veranda and relocated to the Victorian parlor where acoustic guitarist, singer, songwriter and teacher John Rankin— a featured solo performer at Jazz Fest since 1981—is playing to his highly engaged audience. His self-deprecating humor and chatter partner well with his repertoire: classical, jazz, blues, folk and classic New Orleans. Rankin tells the crowd that his first gig, when he was still in high school, was at Cosimo’s on Burgundy Street in the French Quarter. “A guy said, ‘You call that music? I call that crap.’” His résumé was off and crawling. “I flunked my senior year at Fortier (High) because I was playing on Bourbon Street at the Bayou Room.” Which turned out to be a cradle for musicians, including a couple of no-names at the time: Jimmy Buffett and Stephen Stills. Rankin, now 68, talks about a Randy Newman-esque song played by a former student, Alex McMurray, of the local group the Tin Men. (McMurray graduated from Tulane with a BA in English and philosophy in 1991). The song is about musicians: “If You Can’t Make It Here (You Better Not Leave).” That draws a chuckle. Rankin’s odyssey to this point in his life is far from dull. He came to New Orleans at age 9 from Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, where his father was a historian and researcher trying to make ends meet. It was a great experience for a kid, but when a brother was born, ends didn’t meet. So his dad found a job at Tulane University in the history department, where he became a legend. From 1957 to 1983, Hugh “Big Daddy” Rankin taught Colonial America and the American Revolution. A staunch supporter of athletics, he served as faculty chair for athletics from 1962 to 1975. Rankin’s mom, Betty “Big Mama” Rankin, got a job as an administrator of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane. Rankin told fellow musician Paul Sanchez that his dad’s salary didn’t meet the family’s needs, so Tulane promised they’d give Big Mama a job. Betty Rankin immersed herself in traditional jazz and took son John to see the great Louis Armstrong at the Loyola Fieldhouse and to jazz funerals. During this night, before he played an original song titled “A New Second Line,” he explained: “We went to a lot of brass band funerals. They were always so happy.” He didn’t understand why. Then he saw the guy next to him was “drinking his breakfast from a 32-ounce bag.” In 1980, a new radio station was starting up and needed volunteers. Big Mama joined WWOZ and became a mainstay known for her traditional jazz show on Saturday mornings, “Moldy Fig Jam.” At 14, Rankin got his first guitar. After finally escaping high school, he



SOUTHPAW GUITARIST John Rankin (B’ 81, G ’81) gets into the groove with local audiences in familiar venues.

went to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana–Lafayette) as an English major but switched to music, he said, “because I knew I wouldn’t flunk out.” He majored in all musical instruments except for guitar because there was no guitar class. After college he had a rock ’n’ roll band and played in clubs and lounges around Lafayette. A road show band gig lasted only a year. He then went to Berklee College of Music in Boston and, at 28, got a job teaching, which he loved. Yearning for New Orleans, he called his dad and said he wanted to go to graduate school for guitar. “I studied remedially because I had never studied classical guitar before,” he said. In three semesters, he was accepted to the classical guitar program at Tulane. Inspired by a girlfriend who had received an MBA, he earned his MBA from the business school in 1981 and an MFA in classical guitar the same year. And from then until Katrina in 2005, Rankin taught at Tulane—creating quite a Rankin family Tulane pedigree. A terrific entertainer, Rankin’s love for New Orleans culture and music is reflected in his songs. He is entrenched here. His wife, Vitrice McMurry, is a jewelry designer and a teacher at Metairie Park Country Day School. They have a daughter, Anne, 25. “It took me a while to figure out I’m a social person. Once I decided it was more about people than anything else, it became more fun. This is my little community,” he said, pointing to his crowd at the Columns. “I love to play for people who are having a good time and listening.” Rankin is a left-handed guitarist and aside from Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain, there aren’t many well-known southpaw guitarists with the exception of megastar Paul McCartney. Rankin, a large man, bears some resemblance to the former Beatle and says listeners have commented, “You look like Paul McCartney.” “Yeah, take away 4 inches, add a couple billion dollars and an English accent, and yeah, I do look like him.”


Setting up a gift annuity is easy. You transfer assets to Tulane, and in return, you or someone else you choose will receive fixed payments for life annually (or more frequently, if desired). Any amount remaining when the annuity ends then goes to Tulane. For more information about how a Tulane University Gift Annuity could benefit you go to giftplanning.tulane.edu P H O N E 8 0 0 .9 9 9. 018 1


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Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.