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O I L B O O M S A N D B U S T S • CAROLINE DURIEUX’S SATIRIC ART THE WORLD THROUGH ANOTHER’S EYES • SUMMER 2008 Tu l a n i a n

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T H E M AG A Z I N E O F T U L A N E U N I V E R S I T Y

Set in stone. Universities are durable communities that outlive their constituents but also remember them. Over the years, memorials cut into stone and inscribed into metal appear on lawns and halls as sturdy reminders of lives once lived on campus.

Tulanian T H E M AG A Z I N E O F

TULANE UNIVERSITY

SUMMER 2008


Create Something You Love Mona Mailhes (NC ’49) established endowed funds that will continue to purchase books for the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library indefinitely, enhancing Tulane’s special collections on subjects that she loved. Paul Sussdorf, known as “Mr. Paul” to many Tulane athletes, left a gift in his will to support Tulane baseball, ensuring that his presence will always be felt on game night at Turchin.

Robert (M ’41) and Irene Black’s bequests greatly enhanced the School of Medicine Alumni Scholarship Fund, allowing the most qualified medical students to come to Tulane without regard to their personal financial situations.

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ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS to create or support a project you love is to include Tulane in your estate plan. A bequest can be a specific amount, or all or part of what is left after family needs are met. Simply meet with your attorney to draft, update, or supplement your will. THEN LET US KNOW. We would like to honor you with lifetime membership in the prestigious William Preston Johnston Society.

For sample bequest language and more, visit www.plannedgiving.tulane.edu

Your Gift. Your Way. Office of Planned Gifts • 504-865-5794 • toll free 800-999-0181 Bequests • Gift Annuities • Charitable Trusts • Retirement Plan Gifts • Securities Gifts • Real Estate Gifts • Insurance Gifts


what’s Inside

Tulanian theFeatures 20 Petroleum Dynamite by Ryan Rivet We look at Louisiana’s century-old dance with oil and gas.

28 The Sharpest of Needles by Earl Retif Caroline Durieux teased society, grieved war, flirted with nuclear power and remained joyful in her art.

36 There but for the Grace of God by Nick Marinello With each novel, Frank Turner Hollon tries on the tattered pair of another person’s shoes.

the Departments 2 Between the Lines 3 Back Talk

What’s inside.

Readers write.

4 President’s Perspective 5 Inside Track 15 Art Space

In the presence of greatness.

News pours in from around campus.

Dance to a drumbeat.

16 Mixed Media 18 Photo Riff

Recently published books.

A doorway spellbinds.

42 Progress Report 43 The Classes 56 New Orleans

Weiss Posse Scholar Fund is established.

Friends and classmates send noteworthy news. Here comes Santa Claus.

On the cover: Producing oil wells dot the landscape in Homer, near Shreveport, La., circa 1910. Image from S.H. Kress & Co. postcard. Inside front cover: Elephant ears on the uptown campus are beaded with rain after a summer storm. Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano.

VOL. 80, NO. 1

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Tulanian

between the Lines

Editor Mary Ann Travis Features Editor Nick Marinello “The Classes” Editor Fran Simon Staff Writers Alicia Duplessis Ryan Rivet Art Director Melinda Viles University Photographer Paula Burch-Celentano Production Coordinator and Graphic Designer Sharon Freeman Graphic Designer Tracey Bellina

President of the University Scott S. Cowen Vice President of University Communications Deborah L. Grant (PHTM ’86 ) Executive Director of Publications Carol Schlueter (B ’99)

Tulanian (USPS 017-145) is a quarterly magazine published by the Tulane Office of University Publications. Periodical postage at New Orleans, LA 70113 and additional mailing offices. Send editorial correspondence to: Tulanian, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624, or e-mail tulanian@tulane.edu. Opinions expressed in Tulanian 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 addr ess changes to Tulanian, 31 McAlister Drive, Drawer 1, New Orleans, LA 70118-5624.

Louisiana romance and reality When Hurricane Gustav threatened New Orleans at the end of August, this summer issue of Tulanian was at the printer. The magazine was scheduled for delivery to your mailboxes about the time the storm hit the Gulf Coast on Sept. 1. But taking seriously the advice of the governor of Louisiana—and others—to “prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” we decided to hold up the printing, waiting to see the impact of the storm. We’re happy to report that Tulane University campuses suffered minimal damage—a few tree limbs down, a little roof damage and a couple of days without power. Hurricanes are a fact of life in Louisiana. And with lessons learned from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina three years ago, Tulane has shown that it is storm-ready. Students smoothly evacuated well before Gustav arrived. The Tulane leadership team went to Nashville, where team members monitored the storm and its effects on the campuses. Through the Scott Report—daily web updates—and several chatroom sessions, Tulane President Scott Cowen kept parents and students informed of the encouraging news for the city of New Orleans and Tulane, where classes resumed on Sept. 8. Backup communication systems worked according to plan. Emergency alerts were sent in text messages. The Tulane website (www.tulane.edu) remained online. Staff writers posted stories on New Wave—the Tulane online news page. And the university e-mail system functioned, allowing students, faculty and staff to stay in touch. While New Orleans weathered the storm well, places like Port Fourchon in LaFourche Parish in coastal Louisiana—“America’s energy coast”—suffered a blow, although not as severe as first feared. Port Fourchon services about 90 percent of all deepwater rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. One and a half million barrels of oil flow through Port Fourchon’s pipelines every day, connecting to more than 50 percent of the U.S. refining capacity. Recognizing the importance of Louisiana’s petroleum industry to the rest of the nation, far in advance of the storm, we asked Ryan Rivet to explore the state’s turbulent romance with oil and gas for the cover story, “Petroleum Dynamite.” We also have feature stories on the art of Caroline Durieux (NC ’16) and the literature of Frank Turner Hollon (L ’88). In the meantime, we have our eye on the Gulf where more storms are brewing. We are prepared for the worst, hoping for the best. Life goes on.

Summer 2008/ Vol. 80, No. 1

Mary Ann Travis Editor, Tulanian


back Talk DATE TO REMEMBER I read with great interest your cover story “Bound By Slavery” [Tulanian, spring 2008] and fully agree with the idea of raising awareness about the 200th anniversary of the end of the international slave trade. However, the article never mentions the exact date that President Jefferson signed the abolition into law. Every American knows July 4, 1776. You could have gone a long way toward achieving the goal by including the exact day and month in an otherwise well-written and significant article. Jay Mazza, A&S ’83, G ’85 New Orleans Editor’s note: The 1808 Transatlantic Slave Trade Act went into effect on Jan. 1, 1808. President Thomas Jefferson signed into law the bill approved by Congress to end the transatlantic slave trade on March 2, 1807. By Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, the United States could not ban the international slave trade before 1808. The delegates at the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, when the U.S. Constitution was ratified, agreed to allow the importation of slaves for two more decades as part of a compromise between the North and South. A TULANE ANNIVERSARY Apropos the recent article on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, does not 2008 also mark the 50th anniversary of the formal rejection by Tulane of its racially discriminatory admission policy? Research into this matter in the university’s archives would be of interest. Joseph Eckford Brown Jr., L ’55 Traverse City, Mich. Editor’s note: According to John P. Dyer in his book, Tulane: The Biography of a University, “The first formal step in the desegregation of Tulane took place on April 12, 1954, at a meeting of the faculty of the Graduate School. At this meeting Professor James K. Feibleman,



chairman of the department of philosophy, requested that a full discussion be given to the matter of admitting Negroes to the Graduate School.” One impediment to admitting black students to the university was that the gifts of both Paul Tulane and Josephine Louise Newcomb stipulated that admission be limited to white students. Nonetheless, the Tulane Board of Administrators acknowledged the changing times. And in 1963, the first black students registered for classes at Tulane. BOUND BY SLAVERY You say that the historians are interested in the consequences of the brutal slave system in America’s past in today’s society. The idea is proposed that scholars and historians in this area want to promote racial healing and reconciliation through education. I don’t believe these scholars and historians are truly aware of the very large part they play in enabling and perpetuating today’s continuing modern-day slavery, which is as evil, brutal and abhorrent as the slavery of the past. Generations of Afro-Americans are held in slavery by continuing reinforcement of negative valuation of education, a healthy work ethic, self reliance and accountability, as well as by continuing demonization of white America, and the false promises of rescue and salvation. … Barry J. Muldrey, A&S ’70 Metairie, La. ENGINEERING DEFINED I totally disagree with Dean Altiero in the Tulanian “back talk” section (Spring 2008) wherein he states that Tulane has not “abandoned” engineering. An Engineering School without core engineering degrees in Mechanical, Civil and Electrical engineering is not an Engineering School. Sam Rosamond Jr., E ’59 New Orleans



MISSED CALLING Dean Altiero has missed his calling and should run for office. Only a true politician could, with a straight face, describe the evisceration of the School of Engineering as “rebuilding.” “Engineering Physics”? How many Professional Engineers do you expect to license from that program each year? Derrick Charbonnet, P.E., E ’81, B ’85 Ocean Springs, Miss.

SOMEWHERE FAMILIAR I spent Sunday and Monday at Tulane with my son at orientation for incoming students. I returned home to find the Tulanian. Your essay [“Somewhere in between” by Nick Marinello, spring 2008] accurately captured my mixed emotions while taking my son around campus. Familiar, yet different. Nice job. Chris Steed, A&S ’74 Houston APPRECIATION The current issue of the Tulanian was beautiful. Your staff has done wonders with the publication, particularly in the post-Katrina years. Sally Pian, N ’70 Dallas





Send letters to: Tulanian, University Publications, Suite 219, 200 Broadway, New Orleans, LA 70118, or send e-mail to: tulanian@tulane.edu. The magazine reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length, and to eliminate inappropriate language or potentially libelous material. Letters should address subjects related to Tulane University or found in Tulanian magazine.

ILLUSTRATION: MARK ANDRESEN

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president’s Perspective Awe inspiring

Then I met the man. He was 90 years old at the time and had just stepped out of the operating room, where he had been supervising a During my first year as president of Tulane surgery. He was a vigorous, vibrant person and University, I spent a good portion of my a gracious one. He welcomed me and then time traveling the country meeting and regaled me with life stories that were ingetting to know members of the university’s spirational, humorous and heartwarming. We extended family. became instant friends and saw each other It was back in 1999, on my first trip to about once a year for each of the last nine years. Houston as Tulane’s president that I first called As many of you may know, Dr. Michael on Dr. Michael DeBakey, who received his DeBakey died in July. Although he was 99 years undergraduate and medical degrees from old, his passing came as a shock, perhaps Tulane and who was a faculty member in our because the man I knew had so much life withSchool of Medicine from 1937 to 1948. Going in him. His, indeed, was a life well lived. into the meeting I knew that I would be in the When I think about Dr. DeBakey’s devopresence of greatness. In the world of tion to public service, his commitment to medicine, Dr. DeBakey was a giant, a carmaking the world a better place, diovascular surgeon and innohis creativity and determination vator whose achievements are to achieve excellence, I also the stuff of legend. think about the way he retained I have to tell you I was feelhis humanity and his joy for ing a little anxious before friendship. that meeting. Here was a man This fall our freshman class who performed the world’s first arrives in record numbers and, successful coronary bypass according to the metrics, is the surgery, who supervised the first most highly qualified class ever. multiorgan transplant on a human, MICHAEL DEBAKEY IN THE 1930 TULANE As I do every year, I will look into who carried out the first successful JAMBALAYA YEARBOOK. the students’ faces at the fall convoprocedures to treat patients who suffer cation and see in each a future of possibilities. stroke-causing aneurysms, who in his career But what are our aspirations for these studeveloped not one, but two devices to mechandents who come to us to learn not only about ically maintain a heart’s ability to pump. the world but themselves as well? What do we Dr. DeBakey’s innovative spirit was evident really hope for them? during his time at Tulane when as a 23-year-old In 1933, as a resident working in New medical student he invented a pump that Orleans Charity Hospital, Dr. DeBakey first saw became a key component in heart-lung a living heart pulsating in the body of a patient. machines used in heart surgery. His spirit for He would later describe it as “beautiful, a public service was evident during the years of work of art, an awe-inspiring sight.” World War II, when he put his promising career My hope is that our students walk in Dr. on hold to volunteer for military service, risDeBakey’s footsteps, not necessarily to the ing in rank to chief of the Surgical Consultants heights he reached, but with the same passion, Division. His eagerness and ability to improve the same eagerness to learn, the same humanthe human condition is evident in Mobile Army ity and the same resolve to make a positive difSurgical Hospitals (MASH), which owes its exisference in this world. This is my dream for our tence to his creativity and determination. When students and, if realized, will ensure that Tulane Dr. DeBakey joined Baylor University’s College remains a special and preeminent institution of Medicine in 1948, he focused his immense in the world. talents on developing the college’s surgical residency program, the first in the city of Houston. And this is just a partial list of his achievements. So, yes, I was in awe.

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insideTrack

As images of herself as a child are projected onto a screen, Ruby Bridges addresses an audience assembled for the Teaching the Slave Trade international conference in June. (See page 11.) Nearly 50 years ago, Bridges played a pivotal role in the desegregation of New Orleans public schools. Tulane presented Bridges with a special award honoring her courage and continuing efforts toward racial understanding.

Building bridges Head of the class • Dynamic teaching • Campus vanguard • Funds from Justice • Local Shrew • Drying out • Guantanamo Bay watch • Early ties • Lost homes • Lost housing Character counts • Private lessons • Green Wave • Students aim high


newsNotes insideTrack Carroll and Cunningham honored One is known as an inspiration to students inside and outside the classroom, and the other is called a “tireless mentor.” Linda Carroll, professor of Italian, and Michael Cunningham, associate professor of psychology, are this year’s recipients of Weiss Presidential Fellowships—the university’s highest honors for teaching undergraduates. Carroll and Cunningham received the awards at Tulane University Commencement in May. The fellowship recognizes exemplary teaching of undergraduate students and is named in honor of Suzanne and Stephen Weiss. The award includes a stipend of $5,000 a year for four years to support research activities of the faculty members, who will keep the designation of Weiss Fellow throughout their service at Tulane. The professors are nominated for the award, now in its second year, by students and then selected by a committee of faculty members and administrators. Criteria for being selected a Weiss Fellow are that the recipients must inspire and help students. Carroll is director and undergraduate adviser for the Italian studies program that she cofounded. She also established a series of Italian

courses taught in English that provide a foundation for understanding the Italian language. Carroll is an inspiration to students “inside and outside the classroom” with “an innate ability to make her students want to turn out first-rate work,” say her students. One student wrote that a Latin motto— “docere illuminare ducere” (to teach, to illuminate and to lead)—describes Carroll’s work. A scholar of Renaissance Venice, Carroll is a strong proponent of study abroad. “Perhaps the ultimate indicator of teaching effectiveness is the success of our students who embark on the Junior Year Abroad program in Florence, in which they enroll directly in the Universita di Firenze,” Carroll says. While Carroll looks abroad for expanding her students’ horizons, Cunningham turns to the local community. A faculty member extols Cunningham’s pioneering teaching that “served as the spark that ignited the servicelearning movement on Tulane’s campus.” In 1997, his first year at Tulane, Cunningham required students in his course on black youth to tutor students in a public elementary school. “I thought ‘let’s have students interact with black youth if they want to learn about black youth,’” Cunningham says. His philosophy is that “direct experience coupled with theory and basic science facilitates learning.” Cunningham is a “tireless mentor,” say

Linda Carroll and Michael Cunningham chat on the morning of commencement, shortly before they are presented with Weiss Presidential Fellowships.

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his students, who praise him for innovative classroom techniques and exceptional teaching ability. Cunningham has a joint appointment with the African and African Diaspora studies program. His primary research interests include adolescent development in diverse contexts. Specifically, he examines resilience and vulnerability in African American children and adolescents. —Fran Simon

Kudos to Clarkson and Murphy Dynamic, unusual and interactive strategies mark the teaching methods of Craig Clarkson, professor of pharmacology, and Laura Murphy, clinical associate professor of international health and development, recipients of the President’s Awards for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. The awards, announced at Tulane University Commencement in May, were presented to the faculty members in recognition of their sustained and compelling record of excellence in teaching, learning and research. As recipients of the President’s Awards, Clarkson and Murphy received medals designed by the late Franklin Adams, professor emeritus of architecture, as well as $5,000. Clarkson, who has been the director of the medical pharmacology course in the School of Medicine for 10 years, says, “My approach is very student-oriented, or learner-centered, rather than teacher-centered. “Teaching is standing up in front of the room and explaining things. Learning—if it happens—is a whole different process. We’re trying different approaches all the time to try to enhance learning.” Clarkson uses attention-grabbing interactive technology such as a large database of online quizzes. “When students take a quiz and get an answer wrong, it will tell them why,” he says. Clarkson also has developed educational podcasts, a medical pharmacology course website, online self-study tools, a series of DVD instructional videos, and more. Several


insideTrack newsNotes new approaches, including “peer instruction” and “just-in-time teaching,” are currently under development for use in courses this fall, according to Clarkson. Murphy was unable to attend the commencement ceremony because she was in Nairobi, Kenya, conducting research on how the mobile phone is changing lives in an HIV/AIDS-affected village. Murphy, who e-mailed comments from an Internet café, says she began her teaching career feeling “nervous, uncertain and over-programmed.” But after 10 years teaching at Tulane, Murphy says she “has ended up studentfocused, flexible and creative. I value teaching’s role in changing lives, both mine and my students.” Murphy teaches applied social sciences, research methods, development theory, the social impact of AIDS and populationenvironment theory. She has designed a dozen new courses from scratch, including three international health graduate field courses that have been set in Guatemala, Brazil and Kenya. Murphy has explored using technology to improve the learning experience, including the use of Tablet PCs and Blackboard course video websites, and new media for student

From right, during commencement, Craig Clarkson receives the President’s Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching from President Scott Cowen and Provost Michael Bernstein.

projects. Murphy says that it’s important to get students out of the traditional classroom, taking them into the field to apply theoretical learning to real-life settings. And her students have responded enthusiastically. “Students often tell me they choose Tulane because we offer these field courses,” Murphy says. —Arthur Nead

Laura Murphy, who was not in the country to accept the President’s Award, receives a chicken as a token of gratitude from villagers in Kenya.

New directions As of July 1, Tulane has both new and familiar faces in its leadership: • CAROLE HABER is the new dean of the School of Liberal Arts. Haber, formerly the Richards Professor of History and chair of the history department at the University of Delaware, is the author of Beyond Sixty-Five: The Dilemma of Old Age in America’s Past, Old Age and the Search for Security, and Key Words in Sociocultural Gerontology. GEORGE BERNSTEIN, Tulane professor of history who served as interim dean since late 2005, returns to his faculty position. • KENNETH SCHWARTZ is the new dean of the School of Architecture. Schwartz had served as a professor of architecture since 1984 at the University of Virginia. Schwartz, a practicing architect and urban designer, also has been a fellow of the American Institute of Architects since 2001. SCOTT BERNHARD, a Tulane architecture faculty member for more than 15 years, served as interim dean of the school since May 2007. • MOLLY TRAVIS, associate professor of English, has been named the new interim executive director of the Newcomb College Institute. REBECCA MARK, who served in the interim position for two years, is taking a yearlong sabbatical to work on a scholarly project. • The Newcomb Art Gallery has a new director—CHARLES M. LOVELL. Lovell comes to his new position after seven years at the Harwood Museum of Art at the University of New Mexico–Taos. Lovell succeeds past Newcomb Art Gallery director Erik Neil (1999–2006) and interim director Thomas Strider (2006–08). Strider returns to his full-time position as registrar for the Tulane University Art Collections.

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newsNotes insideTrack Justice served The Tulane University School of Law received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to support its domestic violence legal clinic. The grant was announced by U.S. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey on a visit to New Orleans in May. The funding comes through the Office on Violence Against Women’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Justice. This is the fourth grant in continued funding to support the clinic’s work in providing legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence in Orleans and Jefferson parishes, said Tania Tetlow (NC ’92, L ’95), associate professor of law and director of the Domestic Violence Clinic at Tulane. The Tulane clinic has received funding totaling more than $2.25 million from the Justice Department. Larry Ponoroff, dean of the law school, said, “Since its inception in 2003, the Domestic Violence Clinic has served as an extraordinary vehicle for training our students in an interdisciplinary setting and, at the same time, provided an urgently needed resource in the community.”

The clinic’s work extends to offering legal representation to indigent domestic abuse victims, Ponoroff added. “It includes supervising student externships in domestic violence in related placements around the city, training for judges and law enforcement, and research that will hopefully assist governmental officials to lead Tania Tetlow, associate professor of law, directs the Domestic Violence Clinic. wisely and more effectively location. Since the Justice Department opened in addressing this serious issue from a the center last year, it has helped provide a systemic perspective,” he said. total of 464 services to 139 individuals. Ponoroff praised the Department of Justice “The catastrophe that hit New Orleans for its “steadfast support,” which has made the caused incalculable pain and loss that we clinic’s work possible. can never forget, but it also opened our On his New Orleans visit, attorney genereyes to the tremendous need for services,” al Mukasey reaffirmed the Department of Mukasey said. Justice’s commitment to rebuilding the Since Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the city’s justice system in the aftermath of Justice Department has provided $86 million Hur-ricane Katrina. in grants to the state of Louisiana, assigned six He toured the New Orleans Family Justice additional assistant U.S. attorneys and recentCenter, a public-private partnership modeled ly filled two victim witness specialist positions, after the President’s Family Justice Center to directly provide services to victims of crime. Initiative, where victims of domestic violence —Fran Simon find comprehensive services in one central

One for the books Book by book, Tulane’s libraries are being restored. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the basement of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library—an area the size of a football field—flooded with 8 feet of water. The Music Library and a large collection of government documents, newspapers and microforms got the brunt of the soaking. Across Newcomb Place, Jones Hall, home to the library’s Special Collections, was inundated with 4 feet of water. Approximately 210,000 items were salvaged from the flooded basements and are now being restored at an offLocalizing the Shrew. In its 15th season, the

campus recovery center.

Shakespeare Festival at Tulane presents Taming of the

In addition to the salvaged items, more than 100,000

Shrew with a local look this summer. Actors speak

donated and replacement items are being catalogued and

Shakespeare's immortal words, but set design and

added to the library holdings.

costumes are inspired by 1950s Italian American

The recovery team reached a milestone on March 14

neighborhoods of New Orleans. Ron Gural directed the

when staff members delivered the first 10 restored items

play. Music by New Orleans swing musician, the late

to the library. Work continues on restoration and cataloging

Louis Prima, added to the local styling.

this summer.

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SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL PHOTO PROVIDED BY BRAD ROBBERT


insideTrack scholarship

Q: “

What does the Boumediene v.Bush decision in June say about judicial independence in these politically charged times?

A:

The Boumediene decision this June reaffirmed the Constitutional right of persons in American custody to seek court review of the legality of their detention by writ of habeas corpus. In doing so, the Supreme Court employed its judicial review power to rule unconstitutional actions of the executive and legislative branches. It was met with both praise and derision. This case is another chapter in the story of the Bush administration’s detention and interrogation polices following 9/11. Guantanamo was selected for detention of persons suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda or captured in the Afghanistan conflict because, as Cuban territory occupied by the United States on long-term lease, it would be beyond the reach of U.S. courts. The first cases to reach the Supreme Court involved persons captured in the Afghan conflict. The administration took the position that they could be held indefinitely for the duration of the war without a right to seek court review by habeas corpus. In addition, the President resurrected military commissions (used extensively in the Civil War and to a limited degree after World War II) to try suspected terrorists. The Court ruled against the administration in two 2004 decisions. Hamdi v. Rumsfeld held that if a detainee were captured while fighting against the United States in Afghanistan, detention for the duration of the conflict was an accepted incident of war. But it also held that detainees who are U.S. citizens (Hamdi was) must have the ability to challenge whether they were an “enemy combatant” before an impartial judge on habeas corpus. In Rasul v. Bush, the Court ruled that habeas corpus extends even to non-American citizens held at Guantanamo. Thereafter Congress passed an act denying federal courts habeas corpus jurisdiction and

giving the D.C. Circuit exclusive jurisdiction to review decisions regarding military commissions. In the 2006 Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision, the Court found the act did not explicitly bar it from considering a habeas petition. It went on to decide that military commissions have to be sanctioned by the “laws of war,” as codified by Congress in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (which Congress’ authorization of the President’s actions in Iraq did not do) and had to comply with the due process requirements of American treaty obligations in the Geneva Conventions. But the President and Congress were not ready to give up. Congress passed an act expressly denying all federal habeas corpus jurisdiction. Boumediene was an Algerian Muslim who went to Bosnia in the 1990s to fight against the Serbs in the civil war. He stayed, married a Bosnian, and was working with Muslim charities. He was arrested by Bosnian police on suspicion of involvement in a plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy. After a 3-month investigation, he was released for lack of evidence, but was seized and sent to Guantanamo. He maintained his innocence and that he was not an “enemy combatant.” The Court held, 5 to 4 in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, that habeas corpus jurisdiction extends to Guantanamo because of de facto American control. It further found that Congress’ attempt to suspend habeas corpus violated the guarantee of the writ in the Constitution that limits Congress’ power to suspend it only temporarily “when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public

safety may require it” (conditions clearly not met here). Finally, it found that trial by a military commission was not an adequate substitute for habeas corpus given that the right to find and present evidence is limited, effective assistance of counsel is lacking, and there is no opportunity to confront witnesses or be aware of critical allegations the government relies on. The result in Boumediene v. Bush is not surprising. The three previous decisions had already defined a broad right of habeas corpus. What makes it tougher is that Congress had weighed in, pitting both elective branches against the Court’s ultimate decision. Justice Scalia’s dissent stated: “What drives today’s decision is … an inflated notion of judicial supremacy.” On the other side, executive actions based on grave necessity have been ruled unconstitutional before (as with President Lincoln’s limited suspension of habeas corpus in the Civil War and President Truman’s seizure of the steel mills during a nationwide strike). This decision demonstrates the ultimate power of judicial review as defined by Justice Marshall in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison. —Edward F.Sherman A former dean of the law school, Edward Sherman is the Moise F. Steeg Jr. Professor of Negotiations and holds the W.R. Irby Chair in Law.

ask the Expert

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scholarship insideTrack Early care critical to I.Q. The quality of caregiving a child receives within the first two years of life directly affects brain development and IQ, according to a study led by Charles Zeanah, the SellarsPolchow Professor of Psychiatry and chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Tulane. The study, which followed abandoned young children in Romanian orphanages over time, found that those placed in foster care at younger ages had significantly higher IQs than those placed in foster care after the age of 2. “Our findings suggest that there may be a sensitive period in the first two years of life in which experiences are especially important in shaping cognitive development,” said Zeanah. “This work adds to a growing body of scientific evidence about the importance of early relationship experiences.” The study tracked 136 boys and girls between the ages of 6 months to 30 months who had been abandoned at birth or soon thereafter and placed into institutions in

Bucharest, Romania. Researchers trained social workers and recruited Romanian families to provide foster care for half the children, who were randomly selected. Children placed in foster care within the first 18 months of life had the greatest gains in cognitive development compared to those placed in foster care later. For example, at the age of 42 months, those placed in foster care before 18 months old had an average IQ of 94 compared with scores of 89 for similarly aged children placed in foster care starting between 18 to 24 months. The cognitive gains were less impressive for those placed in foster families between

the ages of 24 to 30 months; those children had an average IQ of 80, while children placed with foster families after 30 months had an average IQ of 79.7. A follow-up survey of the same children at 54 months of age showed IQs for the two groups placed in foster care after 24 months continued to significantly lag behind the group placed with families earlier in life. The results of the study have implications for countries grappling with how best to care for abandoned, orphaned and abused children and reinforce policies that favor foster families over institutionalized care for very young children, says Zeanah,

Our findings suggest that there may be a sensitive period in the first two years of life in which experiences are especially important in shaping cognitive development. —Charles Zeanah

Studying the cognitive development of children abandoned to Rumanian orphanages, Charles Zeanah and colleagues found that the children benefitted from early placement in foster homes.

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who also is executive director of the Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. Further, the model of foster care implemented in the study may be useful in the United States, where 500,000 children are currently in care. The research results appeared in the Dec. 21, 2007, issue of the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific organization. The study was conducted in collaboration with Charles Nelson at Harvard University, Nathan Fox at the University of Maryland, Peter Marshall at Temple University and Anna Smyke, assistant professor in child psychiatry at Tulane. —Keith Brannon


insideTrack scholarship

Mark VanLandingham co-authored a pilot study correlating Hurricane Katrina’s destruction and levels of stress among New Orleanians.

Study probes storm loss and stress A study of people living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck has concluded that individuals who lost their homes were five times more likely to have suffered from severe psychological distress a year after the storm than those who didn’t lose their home. The pilot study is co-authored by Mark VanLandingham, a demographer and professor of international health and development at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, along with researchers at the University of Michigan. In the study, carried out in 2006–07, researchers stratified the city into areas that received heavy, moderate and little to no flooding.

“We then tried to find residents, wherever they were,” says VanLandingham. The survey had three main findings. “The first was that blacks suffered disproportionately more than whites, which may be explained by the fact that flooding was worse for blacks than for whites,” says VanLandingham. “Another was that if you lost your house, your chance of suffering from mental distress was five times higher than if you didn’t lose your house. And the third result was that people age 40–60, the mid-life person who is shouldering most of the responsibility for rebuilding, had nearly three times the chance of suffering mental consequences a year after the storm than other age groups.” The study is the first of several. “Our larger study will replicate this on a much bigger scale and will allow us to speak with more confidence and in more detail about what some of the impacts of Katrina are,” says VanLandingham. —Arthur Nead

False choices for affordable housing Behind locked gates is the vacant B.W. Cooper public housing complex in New Orleans, which has been mostly demolished. The city council approved plans for redeveloping the site with 410 apartments, twothirds of which will have rents subsidized

for low-income residents. Controversy over the decision to demolish public housing complexes in a post-storm market lacking in affordable housing, along with the city’s history of racially segregated public housing, has created a thorny debate that has yet to produce a fair housing policy, says Stacy Seicshnaydre, associate professor of law and director of Tulane Law School’s Civil Litigation Clinic. Post-Katrina planning has resulted in what Seicshnaydre calls “two false choices” to deal with the need for affordable housing: Either keep public housing the way it was before the storm, i.e. segregated, or redevelop it by removing blight and attracting marketrate tenants, which will reduce the number of affordable apartments. Seicshnaydre, who served as first executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and on the board of directors of the National Fair Housing Alliance, offers several recommendations for crafting a fair public housing redevelopment policy in “The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same: In Search of a Just Public Housing Policy Post-Katrina,” published in the Tulane Law Review, 81 Tul. L. Rev. 1263 (2007), and excerpted in the September–October 2007 issue of Poverty and Race, the journal of the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. —Alicia Duplessis

overHeard

The lesson I took away from that classroom is the lesson from Dr. [Martin Luther] King to never judge a person by the color of their skin but judge them by what’s inside. The teacher showed me her heart.

—Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges spoke at the Teaching the Slave Trade conference on the Tulane uptown campus on June 26, 2008.(See page 5.) As a 6-year-old girl in 1960, Bridges was the first African American to attend the previously all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.For months, escorted by federal marshals, she walked a gauntlet of jeering white people to go to a classroom where she was the lone student taught by a white teacher, Barbara Henry. White parents withdrew all other children from the school.

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scholarship insideTrack Good vibes from music tutors “The biggest lesson I can pass on is to listen,” says Jesse McBride. “If you want to be a jazz musician you have to listen for cohesiveness in the unit, and you have to communicate with the rhythm section.” A jazz pianist, McBride is among the local and internationally known musicians called upon by the Newcomb Department of Music to teach students in the applied music program. Barbara Jazwinski, professor and chair of music, says that the department regularly draws on New Orleans vibrant music culture, bringing in up-and-coming musicians such as McBride and well-established professionals like renowned jazz vocalist Leah Chase. The university offers approximately 200 hours of private instruction each semester,

says Jazwinski. The department has hired more professional musicians as tutors as the demand has grown. “It is a sophisticated program that has been around for more than 20 years and is a means of making up for having a relatively small full-time faculty,” says Jazwinski. “Each semester we have approximately 20 applied music tutors available, but that number varies depending on what the students request.” Students registering for the tutoring sessions—applied music courses worth two academic credits—meet individually with instructors for one hour each week. The tutoring sessions are intense, says John Doheny, professor of practice and coordinator of jazz performance studies in the music department. But students are eager to

work with the accomplished musicians. McBride taught for the first time during fall 2007. “He’s a young-looking guy, and people would sometimes mistake him for a student,” says Doheny. Students now recognize McBride as an outstanding jazz professional, and Doheny says that they have “warmed up to him enormously as a musician and as a tutor.” McBride, 28, says that in his first semester as a tutor he worked with 11 students. Jazwinski says that tutors like Chase and McBride strengthen a vital component of the department—its performance program. “An excellent performance program is the backbone of every music program, from composition to music history, to music science,” Jazwinski says. “That’s what we are working toward.” —Alicia Duplessis

on Course

The biggest lesson I can pass on is to listen. —Jesse McBride

Jazz pianist Jesse McBride is one of the music department’s newest tutors and a favorite among students.

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insideTrack green wave Football fun For the first time since 2004, the Tulane homecoming football game will take place outdoors in Tad Gormley Stadium, back in service after enduring extensive flooding due to Hurricane Katrina. The return to Tad Gormley on Oct. 4 for the game against Army has long been anticipated by the Wave faithful, who have fond memories of the 2002–04 homecoming games and celebrations held there. Charlotte Travieso, director of the Tulane Office of Alumni Affairs, said of the stadium near City Park, “For alumni and the rest of us—students, parents—it’s a welcoming and collegiate atmosphere, by the oak trees, near the expanse of Roosevelt Mall.” All other Green Wave home games will be played in the Louisiana Superdome—one of the nation’s premier athletics venues. “As comfortable as it is at the Superdome, there’s just something about being outside at a college football game,” said Travieso. “It’s much more amenable to a unified celebration.” Fans can expect plenty of tailgating and socializing before the game.

“Certainly some of our more festive and tradition-laden activities have centered around ‘Homecoming in the Oaks’ in years past,” said Rick Dickson, athletics director. “We are excited to bring this opportunity back for all of our students and alumni as well as our fans.” —Carol J. Schlueter

Fall football schedule

Baseball draft After helping lead the Green Wave to a 39-22-1 record and a postseason tournament appearance, baseball standouts Shooter Hunt and Anthony Scelfo were rewarded by being chosen in the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. Hunt, Conference USA pitcher of the year and one of the best pitchers in Tulane baseball history, was drafted 31st overall in the supplemental first round by the Minnesota Twins. A Kenner, La., native, Scelfo was selected in the eighth round of the draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He played both football and baseball at Tulane until spring 2008, when he concentrated on baseball.

New coaches. Two more coaches are joining the Green Wave to restart programs that had been suspended after Hurricane Katrina. Mark Booras is the new men’s tennis coach and Lena Guarriello will coach the women’s swimming and diving program. Both teams will return to competition in 2009–10. Booras and Guarriello are the third and fourth coaches hired by Tulane to restart programs, joining women’s golf head coach John Thomas Horton and women’s tennis head coach Terri Sisk, who were hired last summer. The new coaches will help the athletics department rebuild to its full strength with 16

Home games (in bold) are played in the Louisiana Superdome. Sept. 6 University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Ala. Sept. 13 East Carolina University* Sept. 20 University of Louisiana– Monroe Sept. 25 Southern Methodist* Oct. 4 Army (U.S. Military Academy) at Tad Gormley Stadium Oct. 11 University of Texas–El Paso* at El Paso, Texas Oct. 25 Rice University* Nov. 1 Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, La. Nov. 8 University of Houston* at Houston Nov. 15 University of Alabama– Birmingham* Nov. 22 University of Tulsa* at Tulsa, Okla. Nov. 29 University of Memphis* at Memphis, Tenn.

varsity sports programs. Tulane will add both women’s soccer and women’s

*Conference USA games

bowling coaches during the summer of 2009.

FOOTBALL PHOTO PROVIDED BY GREEN WAVE ATHLETICS

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freret jet insideTrack Legitimate big ideas A trio of Tulane undergraduate students captured prestigious scholarships this spring. Sarah Ray and Kramer Schmidt were selected 2008 Truman Scholars, and Johanna “Josie” Nevitt won a Goldwater Scholarship.

Scholarship award winners: from left, Johanna “Josie” Nevitt won a Goldwater Scholarship, and Kramer Schmidt and Sarah Ray were selected as Truman Scholars.

“The Truman Scholarship has legitimized my big ideas,” says Ray. She is studying political science and social policy and eventually hopes to pursue graduate degrees in law and public policy with a focus on housing issues. Some people have told her that her ideas are “too aspirational and idealistic,” Ray says, but the scholarship has bolstered her belief that her focus is a viable career choice. “The world needs people who aim high and truly seek to make a difference,” she adds. Ray is from Memphis, Tenn. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards up to $30,000 for students to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in government or other public service.

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Both Ray and Schmidt say the scholarship has reinforced their commitments to make the world a better place. Schmidt says that he always has had his eye on politics. The political science major plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy, concentrating on environmental and natural resources and political and economic development. Schmidt, from Covington, La., believes the scholarship will allow him to help the recovery of his home state from the devastating storms of 2005. “It’s an open door to study something you care about in the most engaging environment possible,” Schmidt says. “I want to lead in this state, and the Truman Scholarship is giving me opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have.” Schmidt is already active in Louisiana politics. He is currently a legislative aide to Louisiana State Rep. Walker Hines and also interned last spring with (now Governor) Bobby Jindal when he was a U.S. representative on Capitol Hill. Schmidt calls his work to date “a great way to feel like I already have a stake in public policy.” Established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 to foster and encourage excellence in science and mathematics, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship is designed to provide opportunities for undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential. Nevitt, a geology major from Aptos, Calif., says her love for geology started when she took camping trips as a child with her grandfather. Before coming to Tulane, her interests—more apropos to California than Louisiana—were plate tectonics and earthquakes. Now she has shifted her focus to wetlands stability in coastal Louisiana. “With geology, location is everything,” Nevitt says. As the Louisiana wetlands drew her interest, she changed her focus. “It just came naturally in this setting,” she says. Nevitt gives credit to the Tulane geology program for her winning the Goldwater Scholarship. “It’s really a reflection on the department,” she says. “It has been a great undergrad experience.” —Ryan Rivet

PHOTO BY RYAN RIVET


ar t Space

We created Sohoyini with the hopes of uniting cultures and celebrating our diversity through the beautiful dance and music of West Africa. —Awal Alhassan

Heart rhythms Awal Alhassan performs high-energy dance to a West African drum beat. Alhassan is a native of Ghana, born and raised in a traditional drumming and dancing family. He now leads the Sohoyini dance group in Seattle. Sohoyini translates as “one heart” in the Dagbani language. Alhassan taught and danced at the 2008 New Orleans Dance Festival on the Tulane uptown campus this summer. Dozens of dancers from around the country participated in the 12th annual, 13-day festival hosted by the Newcomb Dance Program.

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mixed Media

AMERICAN NATURALISM AND THE JEWS: GARLAND, NORRIS, DREISER, WHARTON AND CATHER THE LOVELIEST WOMAN IN AMERICA: A TRAGIC ACTRESS, HER LOST DIARIES AND HER GRANDDAUGHTER’S SEARCH FOR HOME By Bibi Gaston (N ’81) HarperCollins Publishers OVERVIEW: In 2003 Bibi Gaston came into the possession of a collection

of thousands of pages from her grandmother’s diaries. It was the beginning of the author’s quest to get to know her grandmother, Rosamond Pinchot, an acclaimed actress and socialite of the 1920s and ’30s who was dubbed “the loveliest woman in America.” Pinchot tragically ended her own life at age 33, shocking the public and leaving to her family an enigmatic legacy. The diary entries were for Gaston not only pieces to the puzzle that was her grandmother, but also building blocks for self-discovery. In exploring her grandmother’s tumultuous life as well as challenges and difficulties in her own, Gaston traces the story of a family of wealth, prestige and painful secrets. MARGINALIA: The author took some unusual steps in order to have a

better understanding of her grandmother, including spending time on a small cruise ship to relive the ambience of the transatlantic voyage in which Pinchot was discovered by theatrical director Max Reinhardt, lying down under jacaranda trees at night (a pastime of her grandmother’s), and developing a taste for Pinchot’s crash diet of buttermilk and lettuce. QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Within the first few moments of opening

Rosamond’s box, I knew that understanding her life would help me understand mine. I wondered if the diaries might be the longest suicide note in history. Day by day I discovered the opposite. Was this indeed my grandmother? I had thought the only thing she’d ever done was to have committed suicide. I soon discovered the record of a fascinating life, but every bit as much of a surprise, I recognized myself in her words.”

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By Donald Pizer, Pierce Butler Professor of English emeritus University of Illinois Press OVERVIEW: In American Naturalism and the Jews, Donald Pizer examines the anti-Semitism of five notable American naturalist novelists otherwise know for their progressive social values. Hamlin Garland, Frank Norris and Theodore Dreiser all pushed for social improvements for the poor and the oppressed, while Edith Wharton and Willa Cather both advanced the public status of women. But they all also expressed strong prejudices against the Jewish race and faith, producing a contradiction in American literary history. Showing how these writers’ racist impulses resonated with larger social and ideological movements within American culture, Pizer illustrates how easily prejudice can coexist with even the most progressive ideals. QUOTABLE QUOTES: “During the last phase of his career Dreiser continued to speak out publicly against Nazi persecution of the Jews while expressing privately, in correspondence with friends, anti-Semitic beliefs. … [To acquaintance Dayton] Stoddart he wrote on 22 June 1939 from Los Angeles that ‘[t]he movies are solidly Jewish. They’ve dug in, employ only Jews with American names and buy only what they cannot abstract and disguise. And the dollar sign is the guide—mentally & physically. That America should be led—the mass—by this direction is beyond all believing. In addition they are arrogant, insolent and contemptuous.’”


mixed Media

ENTITLED TO THE PEDESTAL: PLACE, RACE AND PROGRESS IN WHITE SOUTHERN WOMEN’S WRITING, 1920–1945 By Nghana Tamu Lewis, assistant professor of English University of Iowa Press OVERVIEW: Through a close reading of the

published works and private correspondences of five Southern women writers, Nghana Lewis challenges the prevailing belief that myths surrounding life on Southern plantations, as well as those about Southern white womanhood, were fostered and perpetuated solely by white males, who benefitted from those contrivances. In examining the works of Julia Peterkin, Gwen Bristow, Caroline Gordon, Willa Cather and Lillian Smith, Lewis seeks to overturn the conventional argument that white women were merely passive and pedestal-bound amid this mythmaking, and that these authors through the influence of their writing reinforced plantation mythology and the position of white women in Southern society. QUOTABLE QUOTES: “In [Gwen Bristow’s] This Side of Glory, modernity is quickly striding into southern life. … The novel opens with Eleanor drafting letters on a typewriter and perusing suffrage literature. … Technology is now leaving its mark in the phonographs, telephones, convertible automobiles, efficient plumbing, electric hair curlers. … These elements foreground the ‘quiet grandeur’ of Ardeith, an air made apparent by the plantation’s ‘ubiquitous,’ funereally cloaked ‘darkies.’ … Glaringly absent in this juxtaposition of modern and premodern imagery are signs of racial progress.”

THE NARRATIVE OF ROBERT ADAMS, A BARBARY CAPTIVE: A CRITICAL EDITION

ON LEADERSHIP: ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESS

Edited by Charles Hansford Adams (A&S ’76) Cambridge University Press

By Dr. Donald J. Palmisano (A&S ’60, M ’63) Skyhorse Publishing

OVERVIEW: Originally published in 1816, The

OVERVIEW: Anyone can claim to be a leader in

Narrative of Robert Adams is an account of the adventures of Robert Adams, an African American seaman who survives shipwreck, slavery and brutal efforts to convert him to Islam before finally being ransomed to the British consul. Adams’ story, including his fantastical account of a trip to Timbuktu, was published by the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa, along with introductory and concluding material by its editor, maps and appendices supplying geographic and demographic information. Charles Adams, an associate professor of English at the University of Arkansas, revisits the tale, authoring a preface that examines the scrutiny the narrative has received over the years as well as places its publication within the political and social milieu of the time. He also includes two contemporary essays that weigh the credibility of Robert Adams’ experience against what was known about Africa at that time.

times of calm, but crisis situations sift the true visionaries from the false ones, asserts Dr. Donald Palmisano in On Leadership. Effective leadership, however, is a skill that can be taught, especially through the study of exemplary figures of the past and present. In each chapter of On Leadership, the author gives a guided analysis of real-life situations from which readers will learn detailed, practical methods and strategies for becoming leaders.

QUOTABLE QUOTES: From the preface: “If Robert Adams, or whoever he was, used the African Company for money and/or the pleasure of manipulating powerful men who would otherwise despise him, the Company used him to persuade the right people that these old slave traders had washed their hands and were fit to serve the pantheon of Britain’s expanding interest in Africa: Trade, Civilization, Nation, and Knowledge.”

MARGINALIA: Palmisano, who holds degrees

in both medicine and law, served as president of the American Medical Association in 2003–2004. QUOTABLE QUOTES: “Fear is the root cause of

indecision. The anxiety about making a decision originates from the fear that someone will blame you if the decision does not work out to everyone’s satisfaction. Indecision comes from the emotional response to that fear. A true leader looks at the scenario that is unfolding, quickly gathers all available facts, using experts if necessary, and then makes a decision. … “As President Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘In an moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing and the worst thing you can do is nothing.’”

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photo Riff

With duct tape, silk flowers and plastic parrots, the city celebrates itself on a French Quarter doorstep.

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photo Riff

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An oil well blows its top outside Shreveport, La., circa 1907.

IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES.


This is not a history, nor is it a timeline. Timelines are dry and boring, and the story of oil in Louisiana is anything but. Louisiana’s oil story is the kind of stuff for which Hollywood sells its soul. It is triumph and tragedy, boom and bust, greed and exploitation. The development of oil and gas in Louisiana is a tale of millions made and millions lost. It’s a story that includes a political game of chicken that wound up burdening the state with a nearly catastrophic loss of revenue. It is a saga shaping political careers and native cultures. But most of all Louisiana oil is a story of dependence. Dependence on an industry that in the 1980s nearly pulled up all its stakes and took good jobs and better money out of the state. But it cuts both ways. Louisiana’s importance to the oil and gas industry was made clear after the 2005 hurricane season when Katrina and Rita roared ashore, devastating Louisiana and striking a major

PHOTO BY JACKSON HILL.

economic blow to the oil industry and the American consumer.

A “nodding donkey” pumps oil 24/7.

It is impossible, more than a century after the first oil derrick was erected in Acadiana, to extricate oil and gas from Louisiana’s story. It is pointless to ask what would the

state look like without petroleum as the backbone of the economy. For evidence of this codependent relationship, one needs only to travel a short distance south and west from New Orleans. A quick shot on U.S. Highway 90, or a run down Louisiana Highway 1 leaves little doubt to the scope and scale of oil’s presence in this “sportsman’s paradise.” Donkey-head oil pumps rise up and down in rice fields, rich ecosystems coalesce around offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and giant refineries and petrochemical plants line Louisiana’s waterways. Robert Flaherty, known as the father of documentary film, extracted and refined this relationship down to its base in his 1948 film, Louisiana Story. In this tale of juxtaposition, a Cajun family sells the mineral rights of its land to wildcatter oilmen. The film’s narrative and imagery develop the conflict of man versus nature, and tradition versus change. This discordance pervades the story of Louisiana oil.

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A cluster of drilling rigs in the Jennings oil field creates a skeletal skyline in south Louisiana, circa 1902.

We have generally had a populist political system, and it’s not been viewed as friendly to the oil and gas industry. —ERIC SMITH, associate director of the Entergy/Tulane Energy Institute in the A. B. Freeman Business School

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Surprisingly, the story begins in 1870, not near the Gulf but in the northwestern corner of the state. No one was looking for oil or gas when it was discovered. The first blast from the herald’s trumpet, in fact, was accidentally sounded by a night watchman at a Shreveport ice plant who struck a match to light a cigarette and “discovered” natural gas emanating from a nearby artesian water well. His misfortune signified a quantum leap forward in the state as plant operators opportunistically piped in the gas for illumination, marking the first use of the fuel that today lights, heats and cools the majority of Louisiana homes and businesses. Even so, the story of the Louisiana oil and gas industry cannot be told without talking about the state’s giant neighbor to the west. “Oil first showed up here as adjunct to production in east Texas,” says Eric Smith, associate director of the Entergy/Tulane Energy Institute in the A. B. Freeman Business School. Smith likes to talk about oil. “They started finding oil in southeast Texas around 1900,” he says, launching into one of his many stories about the industry. “There was tumultuous development in Texas. They were tearing down churches to drill underneath them

and building the derricks out of the salvaged wood. The price got down to 25 cents a barrel, at which point the Texas railroad commission, who was the only regulatory authority around, decided this was very wasteful. It called out the National Guard and put troops on each well, and said you can only produce so much each day and if you try to produce more than that, we’ll shoot you!” The major oil field in southeast Texas was the Spindletop field, which hit in January 1901. It didn’t take long for oilmen to start eyeing the land on the other side of the Sabine River. The move from Texas to Louisiana made perfect sense and ultimately paid massive dividends. The geography is similar, if not identical. Without the modern technology used to find oil deposits today, oilmen looked for surface evidence in salt domes, geological features common to the area that are often surrounded by accumulations of oil and gas. In Jefferson Davis Parish at the bottom of the state, five businessmen from the small town of Jennings leased property where gas seeps had been observed for some time. In what would become a trend that dominated Louisiana’s oil industry, the locals brought in a Texan to drill for the oil. W. Scott Heywood came east from

IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES.


Beaumont, the first trickle in what would soon be a flood of Texas wildcatters. They shouted “Eureka!” when the Jennings oil field hit in September 1901, and the state would never be the same. That reality brought with it both benefits and consequences. “If you look at oil in Louisiana, the industry follows the line of lumber and some

forms of agriculture,” says Charles Chamberlain (G ’99), historian for the Louisiana State Museum. “There was a lot of outside investment, without any real care for raising the standard of living. They were there because investments were cheap, the labor force was docile, and therefore, it was considered a safe investment. The tax structure favored them as well, early on.”

They were there because investments were cheap, the labor force was docile, and therefore, it was considered a safe investment. —CHARLES CHAMBERLAIN, historian for the Louisiana State Museum

The law of unintended consequences states that actions may result in situations never anticipated or even considered. For Louisiana’s Cajun population, the discovery of oil in their home turf of Acadiana near the coastal areas of the state led to surprising effects as the search for oil moved into the Gulf of Mexico. Morgan City, way down south, is a central staging area for today’s offshore oil industry. To its east, Port Fourchon represents the shore to which “offshore” refers. The picture snaps into focus when one stands in Port Fourchon at the southern tip of Lafourche Parish and sees oil platforms dotting the horizon, knowing that more derricks are invisible just beyond the Earth’s curve. Morgan City and Port Fourchon’s Cajun citizens comprise a significant portion of the oil industry’s labor force. Kevin Fontenot brightens when he speaks of the Cajun culture in which he grew up. Raised near Oberlin, La., a small town north of

Rigs disappear into the horizon off the shore of Lafourche Parish.

PHOTO BY JACKSON HILL.

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A gas pipeline stretches across Caddo Lake in the northwestern corner of Louisiana, circa 1909.

…all of the sudden there are a large amount of jobs for young men, not involved in agriculture, where they can make in one day what would take several weeks or a month working in the rice field. —KEVIN FONTENOT, adjunct instructor of history Jennings, his accent adds the credibility of being a native to his scholarship. He hasn’t just studied Cajun culture, his family has lived it. Fontenot, an adjunct instructor of history and co-author of Accordions, Fiddles, Two Step & Swing: A Cajun Music Reader, says the first thing to know about the oil industry in Acadiana is that it brought in well-paying jobs. “You have a community that primarily had been agricultural, or livestock-raising,” says Fontenot, “then all of the sudden there are a large amount of jobs for young men, not involved in agriculture, where they can make in one day what would take several weeks or a month working in the rice field. So they begin to earn more money.”

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With an influx of Texas and Oklahoma oilmen—called “Americans” by the Cajuns— a cultural shift occurred. The Cajun subculture was introduced into mainstream culture, and the mainstream began to bleed into Cajun culture as well. “Jobs were available to people who spoke English,” Fontenot says. “So, young Cajun men, who were brought up primarily speaking French, began to speak more English because they were interacting with oilfield people, most of whom came from Texas and Oklahoma. So the value of learning English increases exponentially.” This cultural interaction continues to shape the Cajun milieu. In a twist of irony, oil

industry influences may be credited with the survival of Cajun culture and the preservation of its language. Because Cajun oilfield workers were known as highly skilled and qualified, a strange reversal in cultural status began to take place on the oil rigs: speaking French became machismo. “I know people who growing up didn’t speak French,” says Fontenot. “They got jobs offshore and learned to speak French in the oil fields. It was part of proving they were a man, and part of not only the oilfield culture, but also the Cajun oilfield culture.” Fontenot argues that the oil industry also served to popularize Cajun music, and the boomtowns associated with oil’s vast wealth

IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES.


created an active nightlife, which revolved around the roughnecks from the oil fields. While the oil derricks never left “Whole towns grew up Louisiana, many of the whitearound these oil fields, which collar management jobs did. cater to what the oilmen want, The bottom dropped out of the because they have money,” oil industry in the mid 1980s Fontenot says. “By the 1920s, and hit Louisiana particularly this includes a very vibrant hard. The former boomtown of music and dance culture. By Lafayette languished under the the 1930s, you have musicians weight of 14 percent unemploylike Joe and Cleome Falcon, ment by 1986. The vast expanLeo Soileau, and the Hackberry sion that had taken place in Ramblers who make their livLouisiana began to implode, ing strictly playing music.” retreating first to New Orleans, The music changed with a then across the Texas state line confluence of styles filtering in to Houston, where the industry from north Louisiana, coastal historically had been more southern Louisiana and Texas comfortable. and Oklahoma. That synthesis Like any theatrical tragedy, fostered a new style—Western Louisiana’s fall was preceded by Swing—that took root in south acts of hubris. The first occurred Louisiana by the mid 1930s. in the early years of oil at the “Some people say it was hand of Huey Long, whose popstrictly influenced from Texas,” ulist policies struck the first blow Sloshing through a swamp, a worker carries seismographic says Fontenot. “I don’t think so, to oil in the 1920s. equipment used in oil exploration. I think it was a give-and-take, “You have to look at the effect back-and-forth.” of Huey Long on Standard [Oil It may have been give-and-take and backCo.],” says Chamberlain, the state museum hisand-forth, but in many ways the oil industry torian. “When he became railroad commisalso created for the Cajuns an us-versus-them sioner in 1920, and governor in 1928, he used scenario that in certain ways allowed the cul[his authority] to slam those big corporations ture to survive. and raise taxes on them as a part of his populist Sociology professor Carl Bankston, coagenda. There was a sort of a backlash by those author of Blue Collar Bayou: Louisiana Cajuns corporations against the Long machine in terms and the New Economy of Ethnicity, says that of not wanting to invest in Louisiana for fear of early in the oil rush there was friction between excessive taxation.” those who accepted the new industry and It was a shortsighted decision by Long those who did not, but that tension quickly considering Texas was far more amenable to subsided as more Cajuns found gainful the industry. employment in oil. “We have generally had a populist political He points to Flaherty’s Louisiana Story, system,” says Smith, the business school’s ener—CARL BANKSTON, which depicts an idealized version of those gy expert. “And it’s not been viewed as friendprofessor of sociology initial tensions. ly to the oil and gas industry, in particular. So “Eventually Cajuns learned to realize the oil Houston ended up being the capital of the industry was there for them,” Bankston says. epic, it contains scenes that prove prophetic world when it came to offshore oil and gas “In many ways the oil industry contributed to when viewed through a 21st-century lens. development, even though much of that oil the maintenance of Louisiana Cajun culture. The young Cajun protagonist tells his father was located in south Louisiana.” They didn’t have to move away to get jobs, that he doesn’t think the newly installed oil A decision in the late 1940s by another there was a source of income there.” derrick will ever leave their little corner of the Long governor would prove to be catastrophAlthough Louisiana Story is contrived and marsh. That has proven true for that little coric for the state four decades later during the only portrays a microcosm of the petroleum ner of the marsh and the state as a whole. bust period of the 1980s.

In many ways the oil industry contributed to the maintenance of Louisiana Cajun culture. They didn’t have to move away to get jobs, there was a source of income there.

IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES.

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In 1948, when Huey’s brother Earl Long took office, there was a question as to the ownership of mineral rights offshore. Long appointed a special assistant attorney general to prepare the state’s case. “The debate was about where the shoreline was, and how far offshore should the state retain mineral rights,” says Smith. Both Texas and Florida had 100 percent of the rights (including revenues from oil and gas exploration) for 10 miles beyond their shorelines. Under its original acquisition terms with the federal government in 1803, Louisiana’s mineral rights extended out for only three miles. When approached by the Long administration, the federal government said it was willing to discuss a compromise and split of the royalties in the area beyond three miles. Acting under the advice of the assistant attorney general, Long demanded the same deal granted to Texas and Florida, says Smith. “And Harry Truman slammed the door, and said you A supply boat plows through the choppy waters don’t get any. It was a of the Gulf of Mexico to an early offshore rig. bluff that didn’t work.” The estimated cost of that failed bluff is more than $100 billion in 60 years. Without the revenue stream enjoyed by Texas, when oil prices plummeted in the mid 1980s and the bottom fell out of the industry, Louisiana could not give the kinds of tax breaks and incentives that would keep oil companies from consolidating to Houston. Recently, there have been modifications to

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Oil exploration and development in Louisiana were shaped by the political moves of brothers Huey and Earl Long.

the arrangements where the state receives a percentage of the royalties from three to six miles, and since Hurricane Katrina, the state now receives a portion of the royalties for new development beyond six miles.

Pierre Conner III (E ’81, ’88, B ’99) is an oilman with family roots that go deep into the history of Louisiana oil and a sense of timing that has not always been the best. Conner got into the oil game in the early ’80s, a seemingly auspicious time. Oil prices were going up and New Orleans was booming as a corporate center for the industry. Conner signed on with Exxon shortly after graduating with an engineering degree from Tulane and shortly before the oil biz went sour. As a manager in the mid ’80s he spent the next 15 years laying off 10 percent of his workforce every three or four years. The Conner family history parallels that of the oil industry and in many ways is a personification of Louisiana’s oil story. Conner’s great grandfather was born to a farming family in southwest Louisiana in 1869. Later in life, he worked as an accountant for an oil company in the Evangeline oil field in Jennings. Conner’s grandfather and namesake was born in Jennings not long after the turn of the century. In 1925 he went to work for Standard Oil of New Jersey, going to Venezuela to perform geophysical surveying. Following his return from South America, he, like so many in the field, began the back-and-forth shuttle between east Texas and southwest Louisiana. He met his wife in Texas and settled in Lafayette. Conner’s maternal grandfather was born in Denver and arrived in Lafayette in 1937 after

OIL RIG IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES. GOVERNORS’ IMAGES COURTESY OF LA. SECRETARY OF STATE.


graduating from the Colorado School of Mines. He worked for the company that was the first to drill offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. He later became a founder of Petroleum Helicopters Inc., created to service the needs of the oil industry as it headed further out into the marshes and then the Gulf. The fact that he is himself a product of the oil industry is not lost on Conner. “It seems poetic that my brother and I make a living in the oil industry,” Conner muses. “We both started our careers in the oil industry in Louisiana because our living is a result of the oil industry in Louisiana. The industry brought my parents together by getting my grandparents to Lafayette. It almost comes full circle.” Although he now recognizes the pattern of boom and bust, Conner says he didn’t think about it when looking for that first job out of college. It was just a well-paying job. “Working in the oil industry was absolutely the hottest job in the country in 1981,” Conner says. “I could have ended up elsewhere since I was a mechanical engineer but the timing was good.” The good timing of his decision to go into oil, however, is questionable. If Conner’s forebears witnessed 80 years of boom, he was undeniably there for the bust.

The oil industry survived the bust cycle and looks to be in the midst of another boom, which is generating a windfall for the state. The price of a barrel of oil climbed to $147.50 on July 11, doubling in only one year.

The hottest field right now in the country is the Haynesville shale field. They are making millionaires overnight in north Louisiana just from leasing. —PIERRE CONNER III, petroleum stock equity analyst Conner left Exxon in 1999 to work as an equity analyst for petroleum stocks. He says that with the price of petroleum as high as it is, exploration has renewed in areas once considered tapped out, including one of the earliest fields in the state near Shreveport. “The hottest field right now in the country is the Haynesville shale field. So it’s come full

circle,” Conner says. “Right now, they’re paying $30,000 per acre for leasing rights alone, and the stocks are raging. They’re making millionaires overnight in north Louisiana just from leasing.” “One of the hot new gas plays in the country is Haynesville,” agrees Smith. “Everybody in Shreveport is a land man now. They’re all trying to figure out who owns what mineral rights and how to cash in on it.” The irony that gas is again a focus of the energy industry is not lost on Smith, who recalls that in his childhood, adults could read the newspaper in the backyards of Lafayette at night by the glow of flares produced by excess gas being burned off surrounding oil wells. With energy costs as they are, Louisiana’s longstanding pipelines and refineries will once again make it a natural center for a large share of new business, predicts Smith, who particularly has an eye on liquified natural gas—gas that is liquefied so it can be transported efficiently by ships. “You need a way to turn it back into a gas,” says Smith. “Louisiana has one of the four original LNG terminals. The largest one in the country is near Lake Charles. Because so much of the pipeline infrastructure terminates in Louisiana, it is a natural place to put any new LNG receiving terminals.” Smith says all the original LNG terminals are being revamped and expanded, with a new facility, the largest in the country, recently built at Sabine Pass on the Louisiana-Texas border. Full circle, indeed. Louisiana’s oil story began in the area where it now seems to be regrouping. Of course, this is not the end of the story. It is an epic tale that started millions of years ago and seems will continue in perpetuity. The cycle continues, and, once again, the rush is on. Eureka. … Ryan Rivet is a writer in the Office of University Publications.

Flares from the Humble refinery light the sky near Baton Rouge, La.

IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES.

Editor’s note: The story of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana is multifaceted and with far-reaching consequences. Tulanian looked at the environmental impact of oil and gas on the Louisiana coastline and wetlands in the winter 2008 issue.

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The sharpest of needles Innovative 20th-century printmaking artist Caroline Durieux turned a keen eye and biting wit on high society, religion, war and bigotry. BY EARL RETIF CAROLINE WOGAN DURIEUX began to draw at the age of 4 when her grandmother gave her a slate tablet with slate pencils. She later recalled her discovery that “if you spit on the slate and whisked the pencil around, you could get something that I was sure was smoke.” This breakthrough resulted in a series of pictures of smoke-spewing chimneys until her mother informed the budding artist that spitting was not a proper activity for young ladies. Durieux (NC ’16), a New Orleans native born at the tail end of the 19th century to a well-to-do Creole family, would go on to develop as a true original, an innovator whose work often gleefully challenges what is acceptable and proper. During her career until her death in 1989, Durieux lived, studied and created art in Cuba, Mexico, New York and Paris—but Louisiana was always home base. Her husband, Pierre Durieux, worked for General Motors in Latin America, and his job took the couple to Mexico City in the 1920s and ’30s, where Caroline Durieux joined a fervent community of artists, including Diego Rivera, intent on depicting the glory of the Mexican Revolution. While not overtly political at that time, Durieux used her artistic skills to satirize bourgeoisie society. In New York, she met author and art critic Carl Zigrosser, director of the Weyhe Gallery on Lexington Avenue and later curator of prints at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Zigrosser championed Durieux’s career and encouraged her adoption of lithography as her primary medium. In 1934, Zigrosser wrote, “Her most outstanding quality is her individualism. Her work is all hers—original, personalized, without foreign influence. Her observations about human weakness are strong, satiric and ingenious.” Durieux taught at Newcomb College for a few years and then at Louisiana State University from 1943 to 1964. During her artistic career, she editioned more than 200 printed images—becoming one of Louisiana’s most influential artists. Her artistic output also included watercolors, drawings and oil paintings. Experimenting with techniques and materials, she collaborated with scientists to develop new printing techniques, including electron prints using radioactive inks. Howard Mumford Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner for his work on American culture, wrote in the March 1978 edition of The New Republic, “Some satirists go to work with a meat-axe and some with a stiletto, but Durieux prefers the finest and sharpest of needles.” Earl Retif is vice president for enrollment management and registrar for Tulane University.He also owns and operates Stone+Press Gallery in the French Quarter with his wife and fellow Tulane administrator, Ann Salzer. The Newcomb Art Gallery at Woldenberg Art Center presented the exhibition “From Society to Socialism:The Art of Caroline Durieux”in the spring.Organized by Retif and gallery senior curator Sally Main, the show included more than 50 of the artist's works along with works by Mexican and other artists who influenced her.

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PORTRAIT OF CAROLINE DURIEUX, 1929, BY DIEGO RIVERA. OIL ON CANVAS, 25 1/4 X 21 IN. COLLECTION OF LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART. ©2008 BANCO DE MÉXICO DIEGO RIVERA & FRIDA KAHLO MUSEUMS TRUST.


P I E R R E , 1932 Pencil on paper. 15 x 11 in. Private collection.

The ar tist’s husband, Pierre Durieux, was a childhood friend and neighbor, whom she married in 1920. The couple had one son, Charles. Pierre’s work took them to Latin America for extensive periods, but eventually they returned to Louisiana. Dishear tened by health problems, Pierre took his own life in 1949. A RT C L A S S , 1939 Lithograph. 10 3/8 x 8 3/8 in. Collection of Mathile and Steven Abramson.

An irreverent student and then a longtime ar t teacher, the ar tist sees the humor in ar t class. Durieux clashed with Ellswor th Woodward, legendar y Newcomb Ar t School professor, but admitted she learned the impor tance of drawing from him.

F O U N D E R ’ S DAY, 1940 Lithograph. 10 5/8 x 6 7/8 in. Private collection.

Durieux mocks the grandeur of academia. The central figure, modeled after Pierce Butler, dean of Newcomb College, holds for th in a room with architectural details reminiscent of J.L. House, the residence hall named after the college’s founder, Josephine Louise Newcomb.

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D E E P S O U T H , 1957

I M PA S S E , 1952

Color lithograph. 18 1/2 x 14 1/4 in. Collection of Louisiana State University Museum of Art.

Electron print. 12 1/4 x 7 1/2 in. Private collection.

With its white-hooded figures and stylized crosses, Deep South is the ar tist’s statement on the Ku Klux Klan. The red, white and blue motif signifies a rare, undisguised political commentar y by Durieux.

Impasse suggests the struggle to overcome personal iner tia. It is an example of a printmaking technique using radioactive ink that Durieux developed with scientists looking for peaceful uses for atomic technology.

B E G G A R / S O C O R RO, 1932 Lithograph. 9 5/8 x 8 1/2 in. Private collection.

Durieux depicts the pain and despair of the Great Depression through the image of the downcast woman extending her bony hands, her wrinkled skin pooling around her wrists.

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T H E C ROW D, 1942 Lithograph. 10 3/4 x 8 3/8 in. Collection of Louisiana State University Museum of Art.

The Crowd addresses anxiety over fascism and grinding pover ty during the early World War II period. The figures in the foreground reflect individual suffering while the mass of humanity in the background shows universal desolation and per vasive angst.

P E R S UA S I O N , 1947 Lithograph. 8 1/8 x 5 1/8 in. Private collection.

“In satiric ar t, use of the grotesque is successful only if the exaggeration is significant and true,” wrote Durieux in her master’s thesis in 1949. The hand in Persuasion “is raking the passive mass of humanity like a pile of dr y leaves.”

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IN THE FRENCH QUARTER, 1937 Watercolor on paper. 16 3/8 x 14 3/4 in. Private collection.

IN THE FRENCH QUARTER,1945 Lithograph. 17 x 11 3/8 in. Collection of Mathile and Steven Abramson.

Religious garments present beautiful shapes, but they “are ridiculous sur vivals.” Durieux wrote that she did not make fun of the garb, but of the nuns wearing them, giving the sisters “smug, self-centered expression” and “rigidity ... of gesture and walk.” The earlier watercolor (right) is inspiration for the lithograph (above left).

B O U R B O N S T R E E T, 1942 Lithograph. 10 1/2 x 10 in. Private collection.

The ar tist por trays jazz singers enter taining soldiers. Durieux, always an iconoclast, produced Bourbon Street for the Ar tists for Victor y effor t in which 10,000 ar tists banded together to depict serious war and patriotic themes.

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V I S I TO R , 1944 Lithograph. 14 1/4 x 7 1/8 in. Collection of Rita Retif.

FIRST COMMUNION, 1933

Death emerges as a woman of the world in Visitor. Durieux depicts Death as a “well-groomed and handsome woman” in a transparent evening gown. At a New Orleans cocktail par ty during World War II, the conversation of the “smar t” crowd, including Army and Navy “brass” and well-dressed women, turned to the “reality of war” and news of dead friends and acquaintances who would not be returning from the frontlines. Durieux wrote, “The ar tist felt that Death had been invited to this par ty and was coming.”

Lithograph. 11 1/4 x 12 in. Private collection.

FIRST COMMUNION, 1944 Lithograph. 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 in. Private collection.

Mexican girls shut their eyes in prayer (top). The child (bottom) looks “at us in star tled surprise from behind the symbolic bars of the first communion veil,” wrote Durieux.

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T H R E E C AT S , 1932 Lithograph. 10 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. Collection of Ann Salzer and Earl Retif.

Three Cats satirizes habits of the Mexican bourgeoisie. Interpreters of Durieux’s work have speculated that the woman on the left with the heavy eyebrows and hint of a moustache was modeled after ar tist Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera’s wife.

S O L AC E , 1974 Hand-colored electron print. 12 3/4 x 10 7/8 in. Collection of Cher yl and Frank Resignola.

The tumbler of drink overwhelms the face of the woman in Solace. Durieux said the image was a “social comment.”

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F I S H , 1936 Lithograph. 11 x 14 1/2 in. Collection of Louisiana State University Museum of Art.

Fish is an image from the “Nor th American Series,� a satirical look at Americans living in Mexico City. Created with a zinc plate lithograph technique, the ar tist used economy of line in her ar tistic statement.

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he temperature inside the meeting room of the East Jefferson Regional Library is set to the kind of cold cadaver chill that makes you pine for the

Author Frank Turner Hollon (L ’88) ponders the thin difference between who we are and what we might become. heat and humidity pressing against the exterior walls of the building. I wonder if Frank Hollon is glad he wore his long-sleeved Polo shirt, and if the reason he’s wearing it is because he’s given enough book readings in institutional settings to

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know better than to arrive in short sleeves. Hollon has published seven novels since 1999 and I’ve read six of them, making him the author of the most extensively read body of work in the last 10 years—at least by me. It’s probably not something he’ll put on the jacket of his next book, but there it is. This is not meant to be a review of Hollon’s work, but rather, a kind of head-scratching and aloud-wondering. You read enough stuff written by someone and it’s like viewing snippets of the film reels that are unspooling in his mind. You start wanting to assemble the

Frank Hollon is revealed in silhouette against a silvery Mobile Bay.


BY NICK MARINELLO footage to make some feature-length sense of what’s going on in there. To hear him speak or watch him carry on with friends, Hollon seems to be very much an ordinary guy. A guy who talks about his family, perhaps gripes about his job, thinks about the new gas grill he’s getting for the backyard, whatever. And maybe he is that guy, but he’s also a man who, at 44, has put together a varied yet coherent body of work that puts a lens to what it means to be human and the choices we can make and those we can’t. And now, with one of his books having

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAULA BURCH-CELENTANO been adapted into a screenplay for a film that is currently in production, this seemingly unassuming author could be on the verge of gaining a much wider readership and fame than he may ever have imagined. But I can’t help wondering if that’s what he really wants. “If you leave in the middle of this, try to leave quietly,” Hollon jokes to the audience of mostly friends and family that have gathered for this, his second reading to promote his newest book, The Wait, which was published by MacAdam/Cage in June. Hollon, who now lives in Baldwin County in

southern Alabama, is a native of Slidell, La., a sprawling residential and retail community 45 minutes away from New Orleans. So this reading that is taking place in Metairie, just outside the city, is a kind of homecoming. Yet despite the friendly faces and the ear-to-ear smiles of support, the author seems a tad uneasy up there at the lectern as he begins to ramble through an early chapter in the book. A trial attorney for the last 18 years, Hollon is not likely prone to stage fright. He has been both a prosecutor and defense attorney and has had to negotiate every queasy corner of

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human experience before both judge and jury. In fact, he’s pretty quick on his feet and seems to enjoy throwing out funny ad-libs in between ticking off the sentences of the story. So what I guess is this: Hollon would rather wrestle an alligator than read aloud the words he so privately committed to paper. If the act of writing is like having dinner at a table for one in a low-key bistro, then a book reading is like having a meal at a popular Chinese buffet during lunchtime. I begin to understand this about Hollon. He has an intimate relationship with his writing, a kind of sweet, starry-eyed love affair that doesn’t involve anyone else. His initial drafts, in fact, are written in longhand, as if he needs to keep the process as personal as possible. “To me writing is like freakin’ therapy,” Hollon told me in an interview. (And yes, he does say “freakin’,” at least during interviews.) The fact that readers can have their own relationship with his words is important, but not critical. And he sure as hell isn’t interested in group therapy. Meanwhile, back at the library, Hollon has ceased joking around and seems to have entered the selection he’s chosen to read. In it, his flawed protagonist, Early Winwood, recounts an experience from adolescence. Early and a group of friends are paying a midnight visit to a graveyard in search of Onionhead, a menacing figure who haunts the cemetery as well as local nightmares. It’s good stuff—tense, spooky, funny and resonant with the memories of everyone in the audience who has been a teenager. About halfway through the reading—just as Early’s friends are about to abandon him in the graveyard—Hollon’s eyes drift away from the page and for a moment he surfaces, appearing, well, startled by his attentive audience. “Wow,” he says, embarrassed but smiling. “You get lost in the story and then look up and there are people in the room.”

Over the last 10 years, Hollon has been described as a mystery writer, a crime novelist, a Southern writer, a writer of literary fiction, “spiritual fiction,” psychological thrillers and black comedy. Book critics have compared him to William Faulkner, Philip Roth, John

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Kennedy Toole, John Grisham and Scott eye,” he says. “Like I was reading the part Turow—a fraternal order of authors that would where Barry goes over to Jennifer’s house and not be assembled without Hollon as its nucleus. has to bail out the bathroom window. Geesh, I It’s pretty good company, but I wonder started feeling sorry for the bastard, you know?” what he thinks about it. It’s just one of the “Barry” is Barry Munday, the hero of Life Is things on my mind as I drive east to meet with a Strange Place, and Jennifer is the seductive him for an interview in Gulf Shores, a small sister of Ginger, who will soon give birth to a beachside community not far from his home. child that may be Barry’s. Never mind the After graduating from law school in 1988, malevolent band of midgets, the gay bars and Hollon moved to Baldwin County. He has a pristrip clubs, Toby and Elvis, the monstrous vate practice in Robertsdale in which he focusGreat Dane, the one-eyed lawyer and a refriges on family law and some criminal defense. He erator full of shoes. You’ll have to read the also serves as a prosecutor for Gulf Shores and book to get those details. Or alternatively, see the nearby town of Foley. Writing is something the movie. that occupies the time that depositions, briefs, Hollon has just returned from Los Angeles motions and court appearances do not. where he spent a couple of days on the set of I figure that conducting this one-on-one the film that will be released next year under interview, along with attending a book readthe name “Barry Munday.” The film, which is ing and consuming as many books as I slated to premier at the Sundance Film Festival can before deadline will give me as much in January, features a cast that includes the as I need to know to write the story. (Hubris Emmy-nominated actor Patrick Wilson in the can be a helpful delusion, and I wonder if Having a novel made into a feature-length film is no guarantee that an author will any novel has ever become a household name, but at least he’s recognized on the set of the film. been completed without a fair measure of its influence.) When I arrive at the restaurant where we are to talk, I find Hollon wearing a Tshirt and baseball cap and sitting at a table piled with books. He’s thumbing through a copy of Life Is a Strange Place (2003), his only published comedy, a jaunty, flatout wacky tale of a man whose sordid and shallow existence is put in order through the good fortune of having his testicles bashed during an assault and removed in an emergency surgery. Hollon is laughing. “It takes years for me to look at a book again with any kind of fresh


title role as well as Malcom McDowell, Cybill Shepherd and Billy Dee Williams. Hollon seems somewhat awed at the reception he received. “I walked onto the set and they gave me a standing ovation,” he recalls in a gee-whiz kind of astonishment that speaks of real humility. “They had a chair with my name on it and when they introduced me they said, ‘This is Frank Hollon, he’s the reason why we are all here.’” More importantly, the filmmakers are staying faithful to his story, he says. “Chris [Chris D’Arienzo, the director] has kept the craziness and all the funny stuff. All the characters and the plot line remain the same, though they took out the midgets.” They took out the midgets, I muse. Not likely something Faulkner was ever overheard saying. Or Grisham, for that matter. And here’s the thing. You hear that a book is about midgets and strippers and a guy getting his testicles whacked, and you might want to dismiss it as ribald and frivolous. What gets lost in the shorthand description is the book’s earnestness, sweetness and humanity. “It has a goofy storyline,” admits Hollon, “but underneath there is something important. It’s about a guy finding himself in a screwed-up world.” It’s seems that the people in Hollon’s books spend a lot of time in life’s lost-and-found department. Because Life Is a Strange Place is a comedy, Barry gets to find and redeem himself and, we hope, live happily ever after.

Most of Hollon’s characters are not so lucky, and redemption most often comes with a price. Just ask Early Winwood, who grows up to do the wrong things for the right reasons and carries his gnawing secrets nearly to the grave, or Jack Skinner, the defense attorney in A Thin Difference (2003), who alienates himself from everything but his work and stuffs his secrets into a place where they can’t breathe, but neither do they die. Ask Gabriel Black, whose voice narrates The God File (2002). He is serving a life sentence for a murder he did not commit and spends the brutal, numbing days of his confinement collecting evidence of the existence of the Almighty. Ask Dr. Ellis Andrews, who in blood and circumstance (2007), engages in a series of cat-and-mouse interviews with an accused murderer who may or may not be insane. Or ask the 86-year-old man who, in The Pains of April (1999), observes the final season of a life not fully lived from inside a rest home for the elderly. Or you could ask Hollon to discuss the recurring themes in his books. “They’re the same things we all deal with— dying, having babies, falling in love, getting your heart broken, God. You know, the same things all of us deal with.” Maybe, but most of us don’t deal with imprisonment or insanity or the tragedies that result from a single misstep or being in absolutely the wrong place at absolutely the wrong time. It’s as if Hollon renders the juice of his narratives from flesh, bones, heart and soul put under steady pressure. Why these characters, why these stories, I wonder. How does a guy with a wife, three kids, supportive parents, devoted friends, a good job and the respect of his community write convincingly about people whose stray into the hard and dark corners of life? Hollon shrugs. I may be more interested in talking about this than he is. “Whether I am dealing with God, or suicide or whatever,” he says finally, “I am able to look at it through this other character’s eyes and see it in a way that I could never see it for myself.” Interesting. But for additional input, I ask Gabriel Black to weigh in. On page 58 of The God File, we see through his eyes the reduced world of a prisoner:

The world looks different from the bottom of a barrel. And trust me, it is different. Take away everything you depend on. Take away your money, and everything your money buys for you. Take away your mother and father, your wife or husband. Take away your children you say you live for. Take away your safety nets, all the locked doors, all your polices, retirement accounts. Take away your football heroes. And time. … Now try to see yourself. There is nowhere you need to be, and no one who cares. … There is blackness. A dark, lonely place deep in the middle of a moonless night. In a corner, unable to see even the outline of your own hand six inches from your face. A blackness with no measure, dimension, or blue-black motion. It is a place where a man, if left too long, can lose himself. It is a place where the difference between living and dying is the difference between black and black. Sometimes it seems I have come full circle. I wonder if these doubts in God are for a reason. They say God never puts more on you than you can carry. When He does, when He goes too far, how will I know? When He breaks his own rule, what happens next?

They say Godnever puts more on you than you can carry.

I’m pretty sure Hollon has as little in common with Gabriel Black as he does with Early Winwood, who tragically lost his father at an early age, or Barry Munday, whose loss of parts is a tragedy at any age. Yet, there but for the grace of God goes the author—and the rest of us as well. There may be only one or two bad decisions standing between those who function in society and those who don’t. “An important part of The Wait was for the

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readers to believe they were very much like Early,” says Hollon. “And then when Early kills someone, for the reader to reflect and say, ‘Maybe that son-of-a-bitch needed killing and maybe I’m as capable of killing somebody as Early was.’”

If Frank Hollon ever becomes the Next Big Deal in the world of literature, it won’t be because he’s tried very hard. In fact, when it comes to achieving literary stardom, Hollon may be his own worst enemy. “The whole publishing business is designed for you to write the same type of book over and over so that they can establish a readership for you and market you,” says Hollon, who once walked away from contracting with a major New York publishing house because the editors wanted him to only write mysteries featuring the same character.

“I don’t want to put people down who read novels that are the same except for the different names of their characters,” he says, “but I don’t read that stuff and I’m not going to write it.” Hollon says he’s happy with the relationship he has with San Francisco–based MacAdam/Cage, who has published all six of his novels, as well as a children’s book he wrote with his kids, Glitter Girl and the Crazy Cheese. He doesn’t have an agent and deals directly with MacAdam/ Cage’s publisher, David Poindexter, with whom he can “sit down and have conversations.” Hollon says he appreciates the fact that Poindexter allows him to go in different directions, even while cautioning the author that each new direction diminishes his potential readership. “It’s frustrating sometimes,” says Hollon, “but at the same time that’s the freedom I have that most writers don’t have.” I ask Hollon if at this point he sees himself

Every chapter of every Hollon novel has been written in stolen moments on ruled loose-leaf.

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primarily as an attorney or a writer. “You know, it’s all the other stuff ahead of that—father, husband, son, friend,” he says, adding that he keeps his private life separate from his two professions. “All the writing I do is at the office on time I steal in between things. My wife and kids know I write books and go to some of my events with me, but they don’t come to me and say, gee Dad, what are you writing today?” And as far as scheduled events, Hollon says he limits his public appearances. “Most writers go on book tours for six or eight months. I can’t do it. I’ve got a job. I can’t leave my kids and baseball and cheerleading and all the stuff we do. So I will go to five or six places.” Hollon seems like a guy who is happy with the decisions he’s made. He is wary of the book industry, which he says is not to be trusted: “You can be the best writer that God has put on this Earth and never sell a book.” That may be true, but Hollon has sold his


Being a published author means showing up at book readings and signings—not among Hollon’s favorite things to do but he makes the best of it.

share of books and may be looking at selling a whole lot more. Timing it with the release of the film Barry Munday next year, MacAdam/ Cage is planning to publish Austin and Emily, a comedy that Hollon wrote a couple of years ago. If the movie catches fire and gets the kind of distribution that another offbeat, small-budget film, Little Miss Sunshine, did in 2006, then Austin and Emily will likely be jumping off the bookshelves and Hollywood may again come calling for the rights to a screenplay. “If this happens, and I wind up making a living out of this, well, this is probably the very best and probably the only chance I’ll ever have,” says Hollon with a cautious but unguarded enthusiasm. I begin to wonder if the reason he has kept the publishing business at arm’s length is not for any particular distaste of it, but rather, because he hasn’t yet found a way to get closer to it on his own terms. “It’s so easy to get caught on the backside of this,” he says. “What are my editors going to think? What’s my mother going to think? How are the books going to be received? How was the book reviewed in the Denver Post?” Maybe that’s why his first book, The Pains of April, has a special place in his heart. “Obviously I will never again write anything as pure as that,” say Hollon. “I mean, sitting at the typewriter, 23 years of age, typing it out and never thinking about it being published.” Written during his senior year in law school and fueled by the angst over his parent’s divorce, a turbulent romance of his own, and thoughts of having to go out and make a living in the world, Hollon began to wonder how the tedious carnival of day-to-day life would appear to an elderly person who had

My eyes

nearly exhausted his allotment of time. What resulted is a book written for the mere pleasure and pain of writing, as well as the experience of imagining the world through the eyes of another. Not knowing what to do with the manuscript, Hollon says he “stuck it under my bed for 12 years” before bringing it to a local bookseller in Fairhope, Ala., who in 1999 published a limited quantity of the book. The Pains of April received wider distribution when McAdam/Cage reprinted it in 2002. For fun, I try to find the 23-year-old Hollon amid the words of the book’s 86year-old narrator: It’s all really pretty stupid. My daughter brought her grandchildren in for a visit this morning. Betsy can be a beautiful woman. She reminds me of my sister. Weber winks at me when she turns her back. He acts like we have some big secret that nobody else knows about. The only secret I know about is who killed John F. Kennedy. If you’re six feet tall, you can’t stand on the bottom of a sevenfoot pool and still breathe. Weber believes he has gills. He tells stories about staying underwater for impossibly long periods of time. If it weren’t for Weber, gray-green mold would grown on my stone face. He makes me change my expressions. I used to think my eyes were only for seeing. Now I know that my eyes are also for other things. They are for smelling and hearing and tasting and touching. They are for imagining and wondering and

are infinity timesare twoopen when. they

picking out the real stars from the unreal. They are for catching fish and feeling the cold winds break through the trees and race across the open fields.My eyes are anything they see and everything they don’t. My eyes are infinity times two when they are open. And even more when they are closed.

uring the question-and-answer session that follows the reading, a woman who appears to be one of only a handful of people in the room who isn’t personally acquainted with the author, wants Hollon to know that The Pains of April really spoke to her and that she was emotionally touched by it. “People have told me this,” Hollon tells her. “There is something about that book that affects some people in a personal way.” I speak up and say that I am among those people. I begin to gush effusively about how beautifully the book reads, how well the words fall together and how the— I catch myself and stop just short of embarrassing both of us. And that’s the thing about good writing and good books. You spend a bunch of time reading something and then an equal amount of time thinking about what you’ve read and still more time talking about it. I have yet to pick up The Point of Fracture, and maybe I’ll wait on it so as not to be a total FTH geek. But I’ll definitely turn out to see Barry Munday if the film is screened anywhere around here. And until then, as far as I’m concerned the jury is out regarding the decision to sack the midgets. Nick Marinello is a senior editor in the Office of University Publications and features editor of Tulanian.

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progress Repor t Promise fulfilled THE ‘PROMISE AND DISTINCTION’ CAMPAIGN REACHED ITS CONCLUSION ON JUNE 30, RAISING A RECORD-BREAKING $730.5 MILLION Despite the major obstacle of Hurricane Katrina, the Campaign for Tulane surpassed the original fund-raising goal by 4.4 percent. High on the list of goals for “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane” was increased support for scholarships. Happily, 2,611 donors contributed more than $98.6 million for endowed scholarship funds during the course of the campaign. Certainly there is no better indicator of the promise of a university than the quality and character of its student body. Promise is potential, and students are the personification of Tulane’s promise. By attracting the best and the brightest students, the prominence of the university is assured.

exceptional even before they enter the program, and the training that they are given prepares them for future success. They enter the university with the expectation that they will distinguish themselves through academic achievement, cross-cultural communication, and campus and community engagement. A premise of the program is that with the support of their “posse,” these students are more likely to achieve their potential.

TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERS OF TOMORROW Recruiting outstanding young students from diverse backgrounds has long been a priority for Tulane President Scott Cowen. In May 2008, the university entered into a partnership with the Posse Foundation to advance that goal. The Posse Foundation identifies, recruits and trains talented and motivated students from urban public high schools. Using In a new scholarship partnership, students find support from an alternative assessment process to make their way through college. that considers qualities that are The program’s promise is to train leaders for critical to success in college, including leadertomorrow who can develop consensus soluship, motivation and strong communication tions to complex social problems. More than skills, the foundation helps to encourage stu2,200 students have been placed in top-tier dents who may be overlooked if evaluated colleges around the nation since the foundaonly by traditional measures. Selected students tion’s founding by Deborah Bial in 1989. And form teams or “posses” that participate in intenmore than 90 percent of Posse Foundation sive eight-month programs designed to build students have graduated. In 2007, Bial was individual and team skills and prepare students recognized by the John D. and Catherine for achievement, engagement and success at T. MacArthur Foundation with a MacArthur highly ranked universities. When the “posse” is “Genius” Fellowship. admitted to a university, the group provides a The entire Tulane community is excited social support network. about this innovative partnership and efforts Students selected for the program are

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are under way to raise funds to ensure the project’s success. Members of the Board of Tulane have taken the lead in this regard and have been inspired to support the Posse Foundation partnership by making gifts in the memory of their recently deceased colleague, Stephen Weiss. To date, more than $200,000 has been raised for the Weiss Posse Scholar Fund. If you would like to make a gift to support the program or underwrite a scholarship, contact Luann Dozier in the Tulane Office of Development at 504-865-5794. WHAT’S IN A NAME? The majority of donors to “Promise and Distinction: The Campaign for Tulane” are recognized each year for their generous support of Tulane. Some donors establish endowed funds named in honor of mentors or in memory of friends and family members. Those honorariums and memorials are recognized as well. their “posse” A very small percentage of donors request anonymity, and in those instances the donor’s privacy is assured. Anonymous donors aren’t necessarily trying to avoid the limelight. Some of them have compelling reasons for protecting their identity. Usually, it’s a matter of personal preference, or in keeping with family tradition. While a record exists for every gift made to the university, anonymous gifts are handled with the utmost discretion. The gift is logged internally as anonymous, and the donor’s name is never referenced again. During the course of the campaign, more than $12 million was raised from donors who requested anonymity. —Maureen King

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE POSSE FOUNDATION


theClasses

Gaining Assets Initiates into Assets in 1947 celebrate their honors by donning donkey ears. Founded at Newcomb College in 1938, Assets is an honor and service organization that continues today for sophomore and junior women who demonstrate strong academic and leadership abilities. (Photo from Tulane Special Collections.)


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Cheers! 1 Gathering at a wine-tasting event hosted by the Tulane Charleston, S.C., Alumni Club on June 26 are, back row, left to right, David Cox (A&S ’90), Bill Basco (A&S ’88), Rhett Klok (A&S ’89), Millibeth Currie (NC ’89), Galin Spicer (NC ’91), Liles George (NC ’89), and front row, left to right, Megan Schuler (NC ’06), Jessica Heilman (UC ’02) and Suzanne Sudzina (NC ’05).

Crawfish boils in California 2 Left to right, John Waterman (B ’97), Kip Finch (PHTM ’03), Jim Ezell (A&S ’88), David Zalkind (A&S ’75, L ’77), Gretchen Zalkind, Amy Schwartz and Andy Schwartz (A&S ’68, M ’72) enjoy a crawfish boil at the South Restaurant of Adam Milstein (B ’99) in Los Angeles on May 10.

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San Diego, Roger Showley, Carol Squarcy Showley (NC ’74, A ’77), Tony Stiegler (L ’86) and Ari Stiegler enjoy mudbugs on May 24.

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Mudbugs down South 4 C.J. Lorio (A&S ’83), left, of the Tulane Dallas– Fort Worth Alumni Club takes a break from boiling crawfish at Grapevine Lake on May 3 to chat with Walt Roper (L ’92), center, and Tobias Smith (TC ’98), right.

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In Atlanta, Philip Cooper (A&S ’90) and Rusty Pickering (E ’91) pass a good time at a crawfish boil on May 10.

Aloha, New York 6 After more than 20 years, buddies have a casual reunion on April 18 in New York when Marty Berger (A&S ’85, B ’92, L ’92), right, visits from Hilo, Hawaii. From left are Jerry Haggerty (B ’86), Adam Lewis (B ’86) and Carlos Gavilondo (E ’85, L ’93).

Tulane beats Georgia Tech 7 The Tulane Washington, D.C., Alumni Club celeb-

7

rates the softball team’s win on June 21. Back row, left to right, are Beau Berthelot (L ’06), Bill Conley (G ’77), Ben Katz (B ’06), Ike Eichenbrenner and Wendy Weiss (NC ’95). Middle row, left to right, are Andy Hyson (TC ’96), Nate Anderson (TC ’03), Paula Eichenbrenner (NC ’04), Kathy O’Toole (NC ’95), Angela Melams (NC ’04), Steve Cooper, David Fruzynski (A ’06) and Max Behrens (TC ’06). Front row, left to right, are Michelle Widmann (NC ’05), Praveen Mekala (PHTM ’06, B ’06), Lewis Lowe (TC ’06), Christopher Deedy (TC ’06), Brad Patout (B ’06) and Aimee Simmons (NC ’95).

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SELMA DEBAKEY (NC ’37) and LOIS DEBAKEY (NC ’40, G ’59, ’63) were honored on May 6 by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber with a program during National Women’s Health Week on “Setting the Standard for Scientific Medical Writing and Communication.” The DeBakey sisters are professors at the Baylor College of Medicine. A portion of the proceeds of the luncheon program benefited the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center. The Houston City Council proclaimed May 6 “Lois and Selma DeBakey Family Day” and presented a certificate of appreciation in recognition of their pioneering contributions in the field of medical communications.

’40

LOUISE IRELAND-FREY (M ’40) announces the publication of a novel on the life of Gautama, based on research of Buddhist writings. Book one in a trilogy, the novel is titled The Blossom of Buddha: The Prince, A Novel of the Life of Gautama Based on the Pali Canon and Other Buddhist Scriptures. “I feel that this writing is my opus magnus,” Ireland-Frey reports. She began research for this story after her retirement from medical practice in 1943 when her health collapsed from a brucellar infection.

’49

PHANOR L. PEROT JR. (A&S ’49, M ’52) was honored by the Medical University of South Carolina with an endowed chair named in his honor, the Phanor L. Perot Jr. Endowed Chair in Spinal Cord Injury, in April. Perot chaired the neurosurgery department in 1978–97 and continues his faculty appointment as professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of South Carolina.

’51

ROBERT BRUCE (E ’51, ’53), emeritus professor in the Tulane School of Science and Engineering, received the T.Y. Lin Award from the Board of Direction of the American Society of Civil Engineers for the most meaningful paper in the field of prestressed

concrete. Bruce received the award for his work on “Fatigue Endurance of High-Strength Prestressed Concrete Bulb-Tee Girders,” a paper based on research conducted at Tulane under a million-dollar contract from the Louisiana Transportation Research Center. Bruce was the principal investigator of the project. Bruce will receive a plaque, certificate and cash prize at the National Bridge Conference in Orlando, Fla., in October. CHARLES B. WILSON (A&S ’51, M ’54) received the 2008 Cushing Medal, the highest honor granted by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, in April at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago. The award recognizes Wilson’s leadership and distinguished service in the field of neurosurgery. A pioneer in the treatment of pituitary tumors, Wilson was the Tong-Po Kan Professor of Neurological Surgery and chair of neurosurgery at the University of California–San Francisco, where he established the Brain Tumor Research Center that has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1971. Wilson retired from active practice in 2002. He is on staff at the Health Technology Center, a long-range forecasting think tank based in San Francisco. Wilson has completed a term on the National Cancer Advisory Board. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. At Tulane, he is a member of the Leadership Committee, the Tulane University Health Sciences Center Board of Governors, and the Tulane University Board of Administrators. Wilson co-founded Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance working in sub-Saharan Africa. He was appointed senior adviser to Global Health Sciences at UCSF as director of surgery programs, with a focus on delivering surgical services in rural Uganda.

’55

GEORGE R. CARY (M ’55) was elected to the board of the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta specializing in the treatment of people with spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other neurological conditions.

’56

PHILLIP A. WITTMANN (A&S ’56, L ’61) received the 2008 Louisiana Bar Foundation’s Curtis R. Boisfontaine Trial Advocacy Award for his long-standing devotion to excellence in trial practice and for upholding the standards of ethics and consideration for the courts, litigants and all counsel in his practice of the law. He received a plaque and a $1,000 cash stipend, which the foundation donates to a nonprofit law-related program or association providing services in the state of Louisiana in the honoree’s name. Wittmann is a member of the firm Stone Pigman, concentrating his practice in commercial litigation, class actions, toxic tort litigation, products liability and antitrust matters.

’66

HARRY ESKEW (G ’66) gave the annual Northcutt Lecture in church music at Baylor University in April on “The Significance of the Fasola Folk Hymn for American Church Music.” JOHN WOGAN (L ’66) is included in the 2008 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. An attorney with Liskow and Lewis, Wogan was selected in the practice areas of banking and finance, and corporate mergers and acquisitions.

’67

RALPH B. ARMSTRONG (M ’67) received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from Boy Scouts of America. The award was presented for service in his profession and his community for a period of at least 25 years after attaining the level of Eagle Scout.

’69

DONALD ABAUNZA (L ’69) is included in the 2008 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. An attorney with Liskow and Lewis, Abaunza was selected in the practice area of commercial litigation. ROBERT BELL (B ’69), who lives in Toronto, is a member of the Democratic National Committee from Democrats Abroad and a

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superdelegate who is attending the nominating convention in Denver in August.

’71

STEPHEN W. CARMICHAEL (G ’71) retired from the Mayo Clinic after 25 years on the staff, including 14 years as chair of the Department of Anatomy. Since retiring, Carmichael has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for the third time, toured Iran, camped in Mozambique, and published another book. His term as editor-in-chief of Clinical Anatomy expires in 2010.

’72

MARGARET “PEGI” BALLENGER (NC ’72) has illustrated two children’s books: Kat’s Magic Bubble, by Jeff Lower (Savage Press, 2007), and A Mouse in the Rabbi’s Study, by Nancy Larner (Song Sparrow Press, 2008). Ballenger lives and works in Woodland Park, Colo. Her website is www.pegiballenger.com. ROBERT J. FATOVIC (A ’72) joined Cannon Design, a nationally ranked architectural, engineering and planning firm, as a vice president. Fatovic assists in the development and expansion of the company’s sports practice throughout North America and overseas. He previously served as principal of his own consulting firm, where his major assignments included working with the Sports and Entertainment Commission on the renovation of the RFK Stadium for the return of baseball to Washington, D.C., and the development of the new Nationals Ballpark. He also served as stadium consultant to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the West Indies. He is working on BC Place in Vancouver, B.C., the signature host venue for the opening, closing and medal ceremonies of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and on design of the Dubai Event Center in the United Arab Emirates.

’73

BERNARD PETTINGILL (PHTM ’73) received his fifth patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and he is negotiating the sale of one of the patents to the Walt

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Disney Co. After graduating from Tulane, Pettingill completed a PhD in medical/health economics at the University of Manchester in England. After teaching for 26 years, including several years in the medicine department at Louisiana State University Medical Center, Pettingill has retired to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where he consults in medical and forensic economics. He has a wife who graduated from Loyola University in music therapy and three adult children. Pettingill asks alumni in his area to e-mail him at biffpett@gate.net. DANIEL VAN BENTHUYSEN (A&S ’73) won the 2007 Don Donaldson Memorial Award for Best Figure Painting in Any Medium from the Salmagundi Club of New York, the nation’s oldest art organization. He is currently an assistant professor of information graphics in the journalism school at Hofstra University and lives in Huntington, Long Island, N.Y. His paintings and drawings can be seen online at danvanb.com.

’74

THOMAS W. BURKE (A&S ’74, M ’78) was elected president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists at the organization’s annual meeting in Tampa, Fla., in March. Burke is executive vice president and physician-in-chief at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, where he is responsible for oversight and strategic planning for patient-care delivery throughout the hospital, clinics and outreach programs. A noted clinical researcher, Burke’s focus has been vulvar and endometrial cancers. He leads M. D. Anderson’s Uterine Cancer Specialized Program of Research, funded by the National Cancer Institute. JIM COBB (A&S ’74, L ’78) accepted the position of executive vice president and general counsel of Crosby Tugs, a marine transportation company. Cobb received the Monte M. Lemann Distinguished Teaching Award for adjunct faculty from the Tulane Law School class of 2008. Cobb has accepted an invitation from Harvard Law School to teach in a trial advocacy workshop (a three-week intensive program) in fall 2008.

ROSANNE PERLMAN FARRIS (PHTM ’74) was promoted to branch chief of the program development and evaluation branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Farris previously was a team leader of the Applied Research and Translation Team in the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at the CDC. THOMAS RODI (L ’74) was appointed archbishop of Mobile, Ala., by the Vatican. He had been bishop of Bixoli, Miss., since 2001, where he oversaw the rebuilding program after Hurricane Katrina damaged or destroyed 20 churches and 10 schools. As archbishop, Rodi is the ranking Catholic cleric in Alabama, which includes the Diocese of Birmingham, Ala.

’75

TIMOTHY S. MESCON (A&S ’75) was named as the fourth president of Columbus State University by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. He assumed his new post in August. Mescon previously was dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University and the college’s Tony and Jack Dinos Eminent Scholar. JUDY KOZONIS SNIDER (SW ’75) has published with other authors The Sacred Purse, a collection of women’s stories and poems on “the many faces of women.” For information, go to www.sacredpurse.com.

’76

PAUL RIEDER (E ’76, ’79, B ’84) is one of the lead designers for the J-2X rocket engine test project at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center. Rieder was recognized for his contributions to flight safety when he was selected by NASA’s Space Flight Awareness Program to visit the Kennedy Space Center for the launch of the Endeavour space shuttle in March. He is pursuing a doctorate in mechanical engineering at Mississippi State University. He and his wife, Linda, live in Slidell, La.


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’78

EDWARD “NED” HALLOWELL (M ’78) has published several more books since he was featured in the winter 2000 issue of Tulanian—Delivered From Distraction, about Attention Deficit Disorder; CrazyBusy: Overbooked, Overstretched and About to Snap, about modern life; A Walk in the Rain With a Brain, a children’s story; Human Moments, anecdotes about life in general; and Dare to Forgive, a book about how to forgive people. He has a new book coauthored with Peter Jensen titled Super Parenting for ADD. He also has authored articles for the Harvard Business Review, “The Human Moment at Work,” and “Overloaded Circuits: Why Smart People Underperform.” He is working on a book about peak performance for the Harvard Business School Press. Hallowell has opened a new office in New York on 72nd Street in Manhattan, in addition to the Hallowell Centers in Sudbury and Needham, Mass. Hallowell writes to say, “The most important part of my life is that my three kids are now 19 (Lucy), who just finished her freshman year at Hobart/William Smith; 16 (Jack), who just finished 9th grade at the Belmont Hill School; and 13 (Tucker), who just finished 6th grade at the Shady Hill School.” JAMES LEE MURPHY III (A&S ’78, L ’81) returned to his roots in south Texas after 16 years in Dallas. He is executive manager of water resources and utility operations for a political subdivision of the state of Texas responsible for safeguarding the water resources of a historic and endangered river basin that encompasses the area between Austin and San Antonio and to San Antonio Bay on the Gulf Coast. The Murphy family resides in Olmos Park, Texas.

’79

JOHN R. SCHREIBER (PHTM ’79, M ’80) assumed the position as chair of the pediatrics department at Tufts University and chief administrative officer of the children’s hospital at Tufts Medical Center in July 2007.

RUTH ROGAN BENERITO Cotton queen If you hate ironing but like the look and feel of real cotton, thank RUTH ROGAN BENERITO (NC ’35, G ’38, H ’81). When Benerito entered Tulane University’s Sophie Newcomb College in 1931 at the age of 15 to study chemistry, she could hardly imagine where her career path would one day take her. Her years of hard work were recognized on May 3, 2008, when Beneritio was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, for her work on the invention of wrinkle-free or “wash-and-wear” cotton. Benerito is credited by her peers for saving the cotton industry in the South. Cotton clothing was more comfortable and felt cooler in the summertime, but had to be ironed. Because of the added work, synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester gained popularity. The cotton farmers suffered. Wash-and-wear cotton solved the problem. “I think it’s fair to say that her chemistry revolutionized the cotton industry, the fashion industry and the home life of millions of citizens who could now look ‘well pressed’ without an iron,” said Bruce Bursten, president of the American Chemical Society and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee–Knoxville. From 1953 until her retirement in 1986, Benerito worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southern Regional Research Center, where her specialty was using cellulose chemistry to solve practical problems in the textile, wood and paper industries. In 1958, she became research leader of the Physical Chemistry Research Group. Her research showed that when specific reagents were bonded to cellulose, the cellulose fibers would not form creases. Benerito also developed a fat emulsion that could be used for intravenous feeding, contributing to the care of long-term medical patients. She secured 55 patents throughout her career. —Melinda Blanchard First published in The Times-Picayune, March 20, 2008, as “New Orleans scientist smoothed way for others to follow: She’s the inventor of wrinkle-free cotton.”

PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL INVENTORS HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION

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’82

WILLIAM GREENWAY (G ’84) announces publication of his ninth collection of poetry from the University of Akron Poetry Series.

KERRY JOHN ANZALONE (L ’82) was appointed in April as a U.S. administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration. Previously Anzalone was counsel for the Longshore Program and Defense Base Act Program at the Office of Administrative Law Judges for the U.S. Department of Labor.

JENNIFER GRINDELL (NC ’84) moved to San Pedro, Belize, in the summer of 2002, where she opened Casa Picasso restaurant the following spring. Casa Picasso has been awarded several honors from the tourism industry, including ranking on the top 10 list in Fodor’s World’s Best Restaurants in winter 2006. Grindell resides year-round in Belize.

SHERRI FUQUA RETIF (UC ’82) coached the Girls’ East basketball squad at the 2008 McDonald’s All American Games in Milwaukee in May. Retif played on the women’s basketball team at Tulane 1978 –1982 and she was inducted into the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame. Retif is in her 10th season as the head coach of Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. The Patriots have captured Philadelphia’s InterAcademic Championship each year during her tenure. Retif and her husband, STAN RETIF (A&S ’80), have two sons, Bender and Cameron.

THOMAS J. KERN (A&S ’84, B ’86) and his wife, Jennifer Lea Coleman Kern, have relocated from the New Orleans area to the Nashville area along with Jennifer Kern’s employer, the Oreck Corp. She is director of training and events. Thomas Kern is now vice president and relationship manager with Civic Bank and Trust. The couple has a home under construction in Mt. Juliet, Tenn.

’83

ROBERT B. MCNEAL (L ’84, ’93) is included in the 2008 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. An attorney with Liskow and Lewis, McNeal was selected in the practice area of environmental law.

DORA ATWATER MILLIKIN (NC ’83) of Wyndfield Studio in Westport, Mass., showed a body of her work in a solo exhibition at the Newport Art Museum in Newport, R.I., June 7–Aug. 10, 2008. Millikin’s paintings render “potentially unpicturesque motifs and everyday objects and scenes” from her life. For more information about her work, go to www.wyndfieldstudio.com.

JULIE A. ROCHMAN (NC ’84) was named president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Business and Home Safety based in Tampa, Fla. She will assume her new position in mid-November working for the national nonprofit association funded by the insurance industry. She currently is senior vice president of public affairs at the Glover Park Group, a strategic communication consulting firm based in Washington, D.C.

EMMET J. SCHWARTZMAN (L ’83) was recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Florida 2008. Schwartzman, an attorney with Carlton Fields in Miami, has managed complex and mass tort litigation in Florida and Louisiana for nearly 25 years. He has extensive experience in the field of aviation defense.

CHRIS TOBE (A&S ’84) has been named a senior investment consultant for NEPC, a fullservice investment-consulting firm based in Cambridge, Mass.

’84

THOMAS GORDON (UC ’84) accepted a position at Sciton as sales director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Sciton is a medical laser and light-based technology company providing state-of-the-art technology for aesthetic surgeons. Gordon is based in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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BILL HAMMARSTROM (A&S ’85, B ’87), WENDY SCHUBERT HAMMARSTROM (B ’85) and their children, Matthew and Dana,

have moved from Wassenaar, Netherlands, to London where Bill Hammarstrom is director of tonnage gases–Europe for Air Products and Chemicals. MIGUEL SCHOR (A&S ’85, L ’88) earned tenure at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He is an associate professor of law.

’86

JESSICA BERN (NC ’86) lives in Los Angeles where she is the producer/creator of a web-based comedy series called “BERNTHIS,” about a neurotic woman’s journey through life as depicted in her weekly visits to her therapist. The short episodes can be watched online at www.bernthis.com. Bern spent the last few years working as an actress in commercials. She has filmed more than three dozen spots and been a company spokesperson. She has a daughter, Phoebe, 4.

’87

JULIE DERMANSKY (NC ’87) showed Revenants: A New Orleans Reliquary, a collection of post-Katrina photographs, at AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, N.H., May 30–June 28, 2008. In conjunction with the exhibition, a 40-page book with photos and poetry by Ann McGarrell was published. Dermansky began documenting Katrina’s tragic aftermath, and McGarrell was inspired by Dermansky’s work to craft the poems that grew into this collaborative book and accompanying exhibition. Dermansky also is developing a project drawn from Tulane’s Natural History Collections that will combine her post-Katrina series with her work in natural history and anthropology. Chicago’s Field Museum is incorporating aspects of her project in its show, Nature Unleashed that will travel to eight other natural history museums. She also photographed the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, for part of an ongoing series, Dark Tourism. TODD ERLANDSON (A ’87) traveled with JAVAD MASHKURI (M ’87) on a Good Samaritan Medical Ministry mission to Vietnam during February and March. They


theClasses classNotes

joined a team of 25 emergency medical doctors, nurses and technicians. Mashkuri helped teach emergency medical practice to doctors at the Hue Medical College. Erlandson explored the hospitals and clinics of Hue and traveled to Nha Trang, about 200 miles north of Saigon, where the Good Samaritan Medical Ministry is planning to build an outpatient clinic. With Vien Doan of the Good Samaritans, Erlandson visited potential building sites and met with the Communist Peoples Committee of Nha Trang to explain the project.

’88

VIJAY PARMAR (B ’88) was included in the list of the “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders” in the summer 2008 issue of DiversityMBA Magazine. Parmar is founder, president and chief executive officer of GainSpan Corp., a semiconductor startup business headquartered in Silicon Valley. The nationally distributed magazine recognizes exceptional executives who are striving for or have reached success within the highly competitive corporate environment. The top 100 under 50 executives are selected based on their position within a publicly or privately held company, the size of budget they manage, their scope of responsibility and their community service work.

’89

GORDON COHEN (M ’89) was promoted to professor in the surgery department at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Cohen has been a member of the faculty at the University of Washington since 2002 when he was recruited to be the chief of pediatric cardiac surgery and co-director of the Heart Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Prior to practicing at the University of Washington, he had been a consultant pediatric heart surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He has been chosen by Seattle Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine as one of the city’s “Top Doctors” every year since he started working in Seattle. Cohen lives with his wife, Trisha, and their three sons on Mercer Island, Wash.

KEITH D. WASHINGTON (SW ’89, PHTM ’93) has been on active duty in the military for 14 years. Washington was a Navy officer until 2002 and now he is a major in the U.S. Army as a licensed clinical social worker. He was deployed to Kirkuk, Iraq, for 15 months as the brigade behavioral health officer, where he was in charge of a busy mental health clinic for the troops. Now Washington is stationed in Hawaii at Schofield Barracks and lives in Mililani, Hawaii.

’90

D’SHAY SHORT BROWN (UC ’90) accepted a position as director of compliance for the investment products division at The Hartford in Simsbury, Conn. Brown previously worked at MorganKeegan in Memphis, Tenn. She and her husband, Patten, and her two children, Mason, 14, and Patten, 12, have relocated to Simsbury, Conn. JOHN FASICK (A&S ’90) has returned to New Orleans after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Fasick is a podiatrist and foot surgeon who lost his office and home to the hurricane. Now working with the Louisiana State University Health System in New Orleans and in private practice in and around Baton Rouge, Fasick and his fiancé, Tracy, are expecting a baby in October.

’91

ADAM CHERSON (L ’91) published Geocide: Placating Humanity’s Environmental Demons, a book that surveys “the emerging fields of political ecology and bright green praxis.” Cherson says the book is “aimed at empowering those who feel the urgency of the moment yet remain perplexed by the enormity of it all.” A book-specific e-journal called “Environmentality” (www.environmentpolicy.info) updates recent developments.

’92

PETER DONCASTER (A ’92) led a team of architects at Booziotis and Co. in Dallas that won first place in an interior design competition for the Dallas Center for Architecture. Doncaster’s partners are NICHOLAS

MARSHALL (A ’92) of nodesign in New Orleans and GABRIEL SMITH (A ’88) of Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York. The center is slated to open in the fall. The prize for the competition, sponsored by the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects, was $5,000. To view the designs, go to www.dallascfa.org. RON ENGEL (A&S ’92) and his wife, SONYA VIAL (E ’95), traveled to Hanoi, Vietnam, to adopt a baby girl, Lily Thi. The couple and their two sons, Ryan, 7, and Ethan, 4, live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. MORGAN S. GRETHER (A&S ’92) and Laura Sanders announce the birth of their second daughter, Violet, on April 13, 2008. Violet joins her sister, Olivia, 4. The family lives in Portland, Ore., where Grether is a “web dude doing websites for nonprofits by day and playing in my rock band at night.” For more information, go to www.morgangrether.info. JONATHAN GARVEY PYKE (A&S ’92) received his doctoral degree in instructional systems technology from Indiana University and has been named the assistant director for instructional programs for the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. SHAREE MAJOR RUSNAK (E ’92, PHTM ’02) and her husband, David, announce the birth of Matthew Gabriel on July 13, 2007, in Tolland, Conn. Matthew joins a sister, Maya.

’93

BRYAN K. BROWN (B ’93, L ’94) was included in the list of the “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders” in the summer 2008 issue of DiversityMBA Magazine. Brown is a partner in the law firm of Porter and Hedges in Houston. KEITH GERCHAK (A ’93) resides in New York, where he is a professional stage, film and commercial actor as well as a registered architect specializing in theater design as a senior consultant with Theatre Projects Consultants.

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classNotes theClasses He has written more than a dozen articles about performing and theater design and is a contributing author of the book Building Type Basics for Performing Arts Facilities, as well as two works in progress.

DEBORAH MARTIN GONZALES Natural impulses Soon after DEBORAH MARTIN GONZALES (G ’82, ’86) wrote her dissertation on James Joyce and earned her PhD in English, she realized teaching and academia were not for her. Instead, she turned to her childhood dream of writing novels. Her 26th novel, Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, reached No. 2 on the New York Times best-sellers list and she has earned numerous awards. Writing under the name Sabrina Jeffries, Gonzales specializes in romance novels set in the Regency period of early 19th century United Kingdom. She is working on the two remaining books in her School for Heiresses series that will be released back-to-back in August and September 2009. Gonzales’ stories require intensive research and she employs an assistant to help with obtaining research materials and correspondence so that the novelist can concentrate on reading history books, writing and publicity tours. Why does she write? “Because I breathe,” she says. “I think it’s a bad thing to go against your natural impulses.” The daughter of Baptist missionaries, Gonzales was born in New Orleans but grew up in Thailand, the setting of the first book she published under the name Deborah Martin. She also wrote several books as Deborah Nicholas. But it was not until she signed with Avon Books as Sabrina Jeffries for the publication of The Pirate Lord in 1998 that her career took off. The name “Sabrina” came from the 1995 remake of the movie of the same name, Gonzales says. With her editor, she picked the name “Jeffries” from a phone book because of “J magic”—according to publishing superstition, the most successful romance authors have names starting with J. Gonzales describes herself as ambitious and aspires to have a book published in hardback, a rare accomplishment for a romance novelist. But there is more than ambition driving the prolific author. Gonzales says that she and her husband are committed to providing a secure future for their autistic 19-year-old son, Nick. Gonzales writes about Nick and autism on her website: www.sabrinajeffries.com. —Fran Simon

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BRANDON MACNEILL (A&S ’93) was hired as executive associate athletics director at Tulane. In his new post, Macneill handles day-to-day operations with Tulane’s executive staff and oversees the continued growth of the Green Wave’s external programs (marketing, public relations, the Tulane Athletics Fund and ticket sales), as well as coordinates the reinstatement plan with the athletics director. Macneill spent the last five years at the University of Kansas, where he served as the associate athletics director for administration. MacNeill and his wife, Amy, have two daughters, Caroline, 6, and Alexandra, 3. JOHN UGLESICH (UC ’93) announces the publication of Cooking With the Uglesiches by Pelican Publishing. He is the son of Anthony and Gail Uglesich, owners of the iconic Uglesich’s Restaurant in New Orleans for more than 30 years. Uglesich and his sister, DONNA M. UGLESICH (NC ’86, G ’89), manage a family business, National Fence Corp.

’94

ADAM HACKEL (TC ’94) received a doctorate in educational leadership from Rowan University on May 15, 2008. Hackel, whose dissertation focused on diversity issues in high schools, is the band director at Montgomery Middle School in Skillman, N.J. A major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Hackel was deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also completed the intermediate-level education of the Command and General Staff College. Hackel lives in Doylestown, Pa., with his family. JOHN STEPHEN TOLAND (TC ’94), founding principal of Toland Law Firm, announces the expansion of his firm in Austin, Texas. Toland’s firm will continue to specialize in federal and state criminal defense, eminent domain and estate planning. Toland and

PHOTO BY JEFFREY A. CAMARATI


theClasses classNotes his wife, Debbie, welcomed a second daughter, Bentlee Kinna, on June 8, 2007. The couple’s first daughter, Brighton Callen, was born on Nov. 8, 2005. The Tolands live in Austin and enjoy frequent visits to New Orleans.

’95

NIMROD “ROD” CHAPEL JR. (L ’95) and his wife, Denise, announce the birth of Nimrod III, on April 14, 2008. Chapel serves the state of Missouri as an administrative law judge, hearing taxation and administrative law disputes. The family lives in Jefferson City, Mo. WILL ELLERMAN (TC ’95) was named a “rising star” by Texas Monthly in April. Ellerman is a partner in the litigation and appellate sections of the Dallas office of Jackson Walker. ELIZABETH LEIGH ANNE GARVISH (L ’95) received the H. Sol Clark Award from the State Bar of Georgia Pro Bono Project and the State Bar of Georgia’s Access to Justice Committee at an awards ceremony in Amelia Island, Fla., in June. Garvish, an attorney and director of the immigration practice group at the firm of Marchman and Kasraie in Atlanta, was recognized for her extensive pro bono work coordinating and providing legal assistance to immigrants in Georgia who are on the path to U.S. citizenship. TIMOTHY W. GOODLY (B ’95) was included in the list of the “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders” in the summer 2008 issue of DiversityMBA Magazine. Goodly is senior vice president of human resources for CNN Worldwide in Atlanta. HEIDI HAGES (NC ’95) has earned the certified meeting professional designation from the Convention Industry Council. Hages has worked as community relations manager for Stewart Enterprises for the past nine years. Her responsibilities have included the successful planning, coordination and execution of numerous professional meetings and conferences. Hages, her husband and their young son reside in Covington, La.

KYLE B. HAMAR (G ’95) was promoted to plant manager of Kanto Corp., a specialty chemical company. Hamar and his wife, Deborah, have one son and one daughter. Old friends may e-mail Hamar at kyle. hamar@gmail.com.

’96

SARA ELLGAARD (NC ’96, SW ’98) and her husband, Paul Blomkalns, had their first child, Erik Andris, on Aug. 22, 2007. The baby is named after Ellgaard’s deceased father, Erik Ellgaard, who was a professor of cellular and molecular biology at Tulane. The Blomkalns family resides in Mandeville, La. LATOSHA LEWIS (NC ’96) has been named to H Texas magazine’s 2008 “Houston’s Top Lawyers” list. Lewis is a partner in the trial group of Gardere Wynne Sewell.

’98

BARBARA TAYLOR AITKEN (NC ’98) and ERIC AITKEN (E ’99) announce the birth of Jonathan Colby on April 29, 2008. He is the nephew of TINA TAYLOR (B ’03) of New York and FRANK AITKEN (TC ’98) and CATHARINE CROFT AITKEN (NC ’00) of Columbia, S.C. Barbara Aitken is a project manager in the compliance department for August Mack Environmental. Eric Aitken is a physiatrist practicing with Rehabilitation Associates of Indiana. Jonathan joins Gabrielle, 2. The family resides in Carmel, Ind. IVAN PETROVITCH (E ’98) completed a fellowship in body imaging at Stanford University and has joined the faculty in the Department of Radiology at Stanford.

’99

ERIC LOPEZ (B ’99) was included in the list of the “Top 100 Under 50 Diverse Executive Leaders” in the summer 2008 issue of DiversityMBA Magazine. Lopez is vice president, key accounts and national Hispanic sales and marketing for National Life Group in Dallas. CHRISTIAN MOLLITOR (L ’99), manager of maritime investigations and policy for

Seattle-based Holland America Line, was elected to the board of directors of Reef Relief. Mollitor chairs the 2020 Vision Committee of Reef Relief, a global nonprofit grassroots membership organization dedicated to preserving and protecting living coral reef ecosystems. JAMES ROCHEFORT (E ’99) graduated from Boston University School of Dental Medicine in May and he is starting a oneyear general practice residency program in Asheville, N.C.

’00

L A U R A B E E L E R (B ’00) married Roland Vetter on May 17, 2008, at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Ala. In attendance were SARA ADAMSON (NC ’98), MARIA RUMELY BRADLEY (NC ’00), MURRAY NADING BROMSTAD (B ’99), NICOLE OWEN DUGGAN (B ’00), SARAH HOFFMAN (NC ’01), KIMBERLY ANDERSON KRUGMAN (E ’00), AUGUSTINE MEAHER III (A&S ’61, L ’63), MEG MEAHER (B ’98), MATT MULHEARN (B ’00), BLAIR NESSIER (TC ’00), MORGAN STAIR (TC ’03), MARSHALL STAIR (TC ’00) and CRAIG STECKLEY (L ’06). Laura Vetter is employed by Aon Corp. and Roland Vetter works for PricewaterhouseCoopers. The couple resides in Richmond, Va. OHAD BEN-YOSEPH (L ’00) married Lindsay Lassman on Feb. 17, 2008, in Delray Beach, Fla. Ben-Yoseph is director of business development for Dell-ZING in Mountain View, Calif. ALAN FEIGENBAUM (TC ’00) and TALIA NOCHUMSON FEIGENBAUM (NC ’00) announce the birth of Jack Henry on May 20, 2008. Alan Feigenbaum is an attorney at Weil, Gotshal and Manges in New York and Talia Feigenbaum is a teacher at Covenant of the Sacred Heart School. The family lives in Manhattan, N.Y.

’01

DEREK D. BARDELL (G ’01, ’02) has been named an adjunct professor of business at Delgado Community College’s City Park campus in New Orleans.

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class Notes the Classes voice classes for acting and business students at the Lorenzo de’Medici School.

E. BLAKE MENDEZ (B ’01) received a promotion to financial officer from financial analyst at Community National Bank, a $500 million privately held commercial bank, in April. Prior to working at the bank, Mendez served as the comptroller for a $90 million federal credit union and as a financial examiner with the Texas Credit Union Department. He lives in Midland, Texas, with his wife of two years, Kelly, and 10 cats. ABBEY MOORE (NC ’01) and Jason Graf were married in Austin, Texas, on March 8, 2008. SEAN STEWART (G ’01), served as best man. VINNY PLONSKI (NC ’02) was a bridesmaid. Marisabel Biediger, daughter of CYNTHIA ALVAREZ BIEDIGER (B ’01) and JEREMY BIEDIGER (E ’01), served as flower girl. BRIAN HEDBERG (TC ’01), STANFORD GRAHAM (B ’00), and JOEL ROSS (TC ’01) were in attendance. The Grafs honeymooned in Taos, N.M., and reside in Austin, Texas.

BRADFORD WOODWORTH (M ’01) was named the James Johnston Hicks Endowed Chair in Otolaryngology at the University of Alabama–Birmingham. Woodworth is a noted expert on sinus and nasal medicine. He joined the UAB faculty this year after completing a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in advanced sinus disease and minimally invasive surgery to repair or remove cerebrospinal fluid leaks and skull-base tumors.

’02

ELIA NICHOLS (NC ’01) moved from Los Angeles to Florence, Italy, in May 2006, where she created an English language theater company called Florence English Speaking Theatrical Artists. She is president, producer, actress and a founding member of FESTA, which closed its first large-scale show, Peter and the Wolf, in December 2007. The show was performed in Italian and English, with Leonardo Domenici, the mayor of Florence, and the U.S. consul general, Nora Dempsey, guest starring. The company staged Alice in Wonderland May 23–June 8, 2008. Nichols also is teaching

SCOTT EKLUND (E ’02) and CARRIE GIORDANO EKLUND (E ’03) are serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Jamaica. Their service started July 2007 and will run through August 2009. They are based with the Western Regional Health Authority under the Ministry of Health.

DAVID FELDMAN (B ’02) and his wife, Monica, welcomed their first child, Samuel Richard, in October 2007. PAUL HENDRICKSON (E ’02) received a master’s degree in engineering management from George Washington University in May. MEGAN LAIRE (NC ’02) and ALEX ROSS (B ’02) are engaged to be married. Laire is a product development manager with HealthGrades and Ross is an associate with the firm Messner and Reeves in Denver. The couple plans an October 2009 wedding in New Orleans.

’03

KIMBERLY CHRISTIANSEN (UC ’03) married Matthew Carlson of Chicago on March 31, 2007. Kimberly Carlson is director of fitness at Chicago’s East Bank Club and Matt Carlson teaches health in the Chicago public school system. DAVID LEIVA (UC ’03) received the Bronze Star medal for his service in Iraq, where he was an Army infantry platoon leader. For eight months, his unit conducted combat logistics patrols throughout Al Anbar Province. Leiva, a first lieutenant, returned to New Orleans where he is working on a graduate degree in urban and regional planning. Prior to becoming an officer, he was an award-winning business journalist in Annapolis, Md.

’05

SAM BARRON (TC ’05) was named Chef of the Week by the Wrigleyville North Chamber of Commerce during the week of April 13. At the Mt. Vesuvius Bistro in this Chicago neighborhood, his signature dish is souffled oysters on a bed of latkes. Barron writes to say, “this nouveau French delicacy is enjoyed especially by members of the nearby Elks Club.” GERARD J. BOWEN JR. (PHTM ’05) and his wife, Mary, announce the birth of Maxwell Norman on Dec. 28, 2007. Bowen has been living in the Shreveport-Bossier, La., area since Hurricane Katrina. He is running in the Sept. 6 primary election for the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Louisiana Congressional District 4, which covers northwest and west Louisiana parishes. His web site is www.ElectBowenJr.com.

THE TULANE LEGACY This fall, Tulane will welcome a first-year student whose roots to the university are seven generations deep. Our Tulane legacies—children of our alumni—provide links to the past that keep our Tulane traditions alive. To read this summer’s legacy letter that was mailed to our alumni with high school children, visit http://alumni.tulane.edu/benefits/legacyletter.pdf. To tell us news about your children, go to http://alumni.tulane.edu/stayintouch/classnotes.html and enter their names and birthdates in the narrative section.

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CHRIS HARTWELL (SW ’05) writes to say he has recently launched a website called TalkAboutMarriage.com, an online forum for discussion about relationships. While in graduate school at Tulane, Hartwell started the Family and Marriage Counseling Directory (family-marriage-counseling.com) that provides links to help people find professionals for counseling.


WAVE ’08!

HOMECOMING!

PARENT FAMILY WEEKEND! “PROMISE AND DISTINCTION: THE CAMPAIGN FOR TULANE” has been a tremendous success. Join us on OCTOBER 3 AND 4, 2008, for a weekend celebration of all that is Tulane, including a town hall meeting with President Scott Cowen, class reunion activities, Army vs Tulane at Tad Gormley Stadium, and our

Celebrate Tulane!

second annual all-alumni reunion extravaganza, WAVE ’08. FRIDAY, OCT. 3 Meet your friends and classmates for the WAVE ’08 All Alumni Reunion Party at 6 p.m. in the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life. Then head to the QUAD at 8 p.m. for a FREE homecoming concert with New Orleans’ own FUNKY METERS, featuring Art Neville on keyboards, George Porter on bass, Russell Batiste Jr. on drums, and Art’s son, Ian Neville, on guitar. SATURDAY, OCT. 4 Enjoy homecoming and tailgating, Tulanestyle, under the oak trees in City Park. Kickoff is at 2 p.m. for the GREEN WAVE–ARMY game in Tad Gormley Stadium. It’s our way of saying THANK YOU and welcoming you back home!

For a complete schedule of events visit reunions.tulane.edu


deaths theClasses James Davidson, professor of political science, of Radford, Va., on June 5, 2008. Virginia Kratzer Ktsanes, professor of epidemiology, of New Orleans on July 12, 2008. William L. Duren Jr. (A&S ’26, G ’28) of Charlottesville, Va., on April 4, 2008. Michael E. DeBakey (A&S ’30, M ’32, G ’35) of Houston on July 11, 2008. Morris Shapiro (L ’32) of Alexandria, La., on April 6, 2008. Helen Cefalu Brumfield (NC ’34) of Amite, La., on May 3, 2008. Ursula Sancton Harold (UC ’34) of Metairie, La., on April 25, 2008. Margaret Krumbhaar Shaffer (NC ’35) of New Orleans on Jan. 29, 2007. Frankie Davis Broders (NC ’36) of New Orleans on June 20, 2008. Catherine O’Neil Summers (NC ’36) of Indianapolis on June 10, 2008. George D. Wray Jr. (B ’36) of Shreveport, La., on April 26, 2008. Paul E. Odendahl Jr. (A ’37) of New Orleans on April 10, 2008. Elizabeth Spencer Roach (NC ’37) of Alexandria, Va., on March 19, 2008. Edward Saul Sims (B ’37) of Los Angeles on April 28, 2008. Margaret Kirk Virden (NC ’37) of New Orleans on March 24, 2008. Norman W. Buckner (A&S ’38) of Lutcher, La., on March 11, 2008. Gladys Eddins Salassi (NC ’38) of Slidell, La., on March 9, 2008. Benjamin L. Spearman (A&S ’38) of Brookhaven, Miss., on March 10, 2008. Leon S. Thomas (B ’38) of Jackson, Miss., on April 5, 2008. Hugh M. Yearwood (A&S ’38, M ’41) of Shreveport, La., on March 19, 2008. Mary Shands Hedges (NC ’39) of Owensboro, Ky., on May 13, 2008.

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Florence Brooks Kreeger (NC ’39, G ’43) of New Iberia, La., on June 11, 2008. Euphemie Tobin Phelps (NC ’39) of New Orleans on May 15, 2008. John C. Dubret (M ’40) of New Orleans on May 29, 2008. Maurice M. Lerman (A&S ’40, M ’43) of Beverly Hills, Calif., on March 2, 2008. Edward F. Dombrowsky (A&S ’41, M ’44) of Dallas on April 12, 2007. Jack Hyman (M ’41, G ’48) of Mobile, Ala., on May 16, 2008. Margaret Glenn McCarty (NC ’41) of Charlotte, N.C., on May 18, 2008. Elizabeth Meyers Robinson (A&S ’41) of Peachtree City, Ga., on Jan. 1, 2008. Martin S. Baer (E ’42) of Gainesville, Fla., on Sept. 5, 2007. Ruth Albrecht Baer (NC ’42) of Gainesville, Fla., on April 8, 2008. Josephine Douglas Bonkowski (NC ’42) of San Antonio on March 13, 2008. Frederick S. Frederickson Jr. (E ’42) of New Orleans on July 5, 2007. William S. Goldman (E ’42) of Goodyear, Ariz., on Nov. 19, 2007. Albert A. Lang (A&S ’42, M ’44) of Dade City, Fla., on Oct. 4, 2007. Kathryn Edwards Shoaff (NC ’42) of Atlanta on June 6, 2008. Samuel Baum (A&S ’43, M ’45) of Clifton, N.J., on April 16, 2008. John J. Desmond (A ’43) of Zachary, La., on March 27, 2008. Lloyd C. Eyrich (A&S ’43, M ’46) of New Orleans on June 14, 2008. George J. Gatoura (M ’43) of Houston on June 7, 2007. David L. Greenlees (M ’43) of Odessa, Texas, on May 14, 2008. Mary R. Prieto (NC ’43, M ’45) of Madison, Miss., on May 26, 2008. Monroe S. Samuels (A&S ’43) of Metairie, La., on April 13, 2008. Howard B. Strauss (A&S ’43, M ’45)

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of Potomac, Md., on March 10, 2008. L. Virginia Riddle Jones (SW ’44) of Birmingham, Ala., on May 11, 2008. Vivian Hamm Robinson (B ’44) of Homer, La., June 16, 2008. Edward R. Estes Jr. (E ’45) of Norfolk, Va., on March 30, 2008. James Gilbert Rohn (M ’45) of Visalia, Calif., on May 13, 2008. Henry K. Tippins Jr. (M ’45) of Pensacola, Fla., on March 4, 2008. Wallace R. Aderhold (M ’46) of Alexandria, La., on April 19, 2008. James W. Davis Sr. (M ’46, ’54) of Knoxville, Tenn., on March 17, 2008. Eugene M. Ford (B ’46) of Orland Park, Ill., on April 6, 2008. Herman E. Trieb (B ’46) of Kansas City, Mo., on March 10, 2008. Richard C. Allen Jr. (A&S ’47, M ’50) of El Campo, Texas, on April 9, 2008. Ashley J. Gold (L ’47) of Little Rock, Ark., on March 2, 2008. Leonard Halpern (B ’47) of Houston on May 28, 2008. Warren R. Hampton (A&S ’47, G ’71) of Temple Terrace, Fla., on Sept. 21, 2008. William E. Hancock (A&S ’47) of Nashville, Tenn., on Aug. 30, 2007. David R. Hurd (E ’47) of Houston on Jan. 23, 2008. Edmann J. Rathke (A&S ’47) of New Orleans on June 6, 2008. Alban E. Williams (M ’47) of Lafayette, La., on Aug. 13, 2007. George B. Davis (E ’48) of Covington, La., on June 10, 2008. Edmond R. Eberle (A&S ’48, L’50) of Metairie, La., on May 10, 2008. Jorge P. Garcia (A&S ’48) of Tampa, Fla., on June 20, 2008. Richard J. Gough (B ’48) of New Orleans on June 9, 2008. Jeffrey J. LeBlanc Sr. (L ’48, G ’59) of Lockport, La., on Feb. 3, 2008. William E. MacLauchlin Jr. (SW ’48) of Clermont, Fla., on Feb. 16, 2008. C. Layton Merritt Jr. (B ’48) of

Metairie, La., on April 27, 2008. Juanita Rivers Stevens (SW ’48) of Macon, Ga., on May 14, 2008. Lachlan M. Vass Jr. (A&S ’48) of Bush, La., on March 14, 2008. L. Mayo Brodie (B ’49) of Atlanta on March 13, 2007. Hays B. Clark Jr. (B ’49) of Monroe, La., on June 19, 2008. Henry J. Haffner Jr. (B ’49) of Slidell, La., on March 19, 2008. Gilbert L. Hetherwick (L ’49) of Shreveport, La., on April 8, 2008. Edwin J. Himel (E ’49) of Ocean Springs, Miss., on April 14, 2008. Hansel O. Kincaid (B ’49) of Midland, Texas, on July 14, 2007. John A. Marque (A&S ’49, L ’51) of New Orleans on March 26, 2008. S. Ruggles Stapleton Jr. (E ’49) of Covington, La., on May 24, 2008. William C. Super (M ’49) of Metairie, La., on March 25, 2007. Isadore Yager (M ’49) of New Orleans on April 5, 2008. Joseph W. Balmer Jr. (B ’50) of Metairie, La., on March 28, 2008. Clu Flu Lusk (M ’50) of Arlington, Texas, on March 2, 2008. Joseph F. Mabey (M ’50) of New Orleans on April 4, 2008. Rex E. Partridge (A&S’50) of Odessa, Texas, on Feb. 11, 2007. Clarence H. Webb Jr. (A&S ’50, M ’55) of Jackson, Miss., on June 2, 2008. H. Whitney Boggs Jr. (M ’51) of Shreveport, La., on Aug. 6, 2007. Donald G. Guinee Sr. (A&S ’51, B ’59) of Picayune, Miss., on Aug. 17, 2007. Cecil B. King (B’51) of Mobile, Ala., on May 30, 2008. William S. Ullom (M ’51) of Lubbock, Texas, on May 12, 2008. Theodore P. Votteler (M ’51) of Dallas on May 23, 2008. Margaret Conder Williams (NC ’51) of Beaumont, Texas, on March 11, 2008.


theClasses deaths Richard V. Crater (A&S ’52) of Roselle, N.J., on April 8, 2008. McLain J. Forman (A&S ’52) of New Orleans on June 21, 2008. Rober t A. Kur land (SW ’52) of Hurley, N.Y., on May 1, 2007. Jane Emerson Maclin (NC ’52) of San Antonio on April 18, 2008. Marie A. Velcich (NC ’52) of Tulsa, Okla., on April 15, 2008. Mary E. White (B ’52) of Covington, La., on April 4, 2008. Bill L. Harman Jr. (A&S ’53) of Rocklin, Calif., on Aug. 8, 2007. Harry C. Husser Jr. (UC ’53) of Houston on April 13, 2008. Jean Simmons Mathias (SW ’53) of West Columbia, S.C., on March 30, 2008. Lester H. Arbo Jr. (E ’54) of Daphne, Ala., on March 26, 2008. James O. Billon (A&S ’54) of Baton Rouge, La., on April 29, 2008. Earl R. Campbell Jr. (M ’54) of Bell Buckle, Tenn., on May 28, 2008. Talmadge D. Fowler (SW ’54) of Atlanta on May 15, 2008. Elizabeth Weiss Parnes (G ’54) of Waban, Mass., on May 13, 2008. Fay Allen Schultz (NC ’54) of Metairie, La., on Aug. 15, 2007. Daniel R. Bruno (A ’55) of Savannah, Ga., on April 12, 2008. Elizabeth Haeuser Her ndon (NC ’55) of New Orleans on June 13, 2008. John W. LeBourgeois (B ’55) of Covington, La., on March 27, 2008. John M. O’Neill (A ’55) of Los Osos, Calif., on May 18, 2008. Rose Link Mosby (G ’56) of Memphis, Tenn., on March 27, 2008. Martha Hatchell Rigby (NC ’56) of Shreveport, La., on March 7, 2008. Charles R. Trufant (B ’56) of Sioux Falls, S.D., on May 17. 2008. Stanley F. Burkhardt (UC ’57) of Metairie, La., on March 15, 2008. W. Mel Flowers Jr. (M ’57) of Madison, Miss., on March 30, 2008.

Melvin A. Hairston Jr. (A&S ’57, M ’61) of Montgomery, Texas, on July 8, 2007. Vernon L. Wagner Jr. (A&S ’57) of New Orleans on June 20, 2007. Anthony Lala (G ’58) of New Orleans on April 4, 2008. Louis M. McNair (A&S ’58) of Marietta, Ga., on Nov. 10, 2007. William D. Parker (UC ’58) of Starkville, Miss., on March 3, 2008. William W. Tisdale Jr. (M ’58) of Montgomery, Ala., on March 25, 2008. Solon R. Cole (A&S ’59, M ’62) of Hartford, Conn., on March 23, 2008. Clyde X. Copeland Jr. (M ’59) of Jackson, Miss., on May 3, 2007. Sheda Macagnoni Jr. (A&S ’59) of Baton Rouge, La., on May 27, 2008. Robert J. Monroe (B ’59) of New Orleans on March 16, 2007. Saidee Watson Newell (B ’59) of Natchitoches, La., on March 23, 2008. David H. Smith (B ’59) of Mandeville, La., on March 5, 2007. Richard M. Troy Jr. (L ’59) of New Orleans on July 14, 2007. Zia A. Alemzadeh (PHTM ’60) of Knoxville, Tenn., on June 15, 2008. Harold R. Belknap Jr. (M ’60) of Norman, Okla., on April 20, 2008. Charles D. Haller (G ’60, ’67) of Lexington, Ky., on April 2, 2008. Marjorie Walker McAuliffe (G ’61) of Hammond, La., on Aug. 17, 2007. David L. Clary (UC ’62) of Rogers, Ariz., on March 26, 2008. Robert D. March (A&S ’62) of Winamac, Ind., on April 3, 2008. Jerry J. Saacks (E ’62) of Metairie, La., on May 6, 2008. Benjamin O. Spurlock Jr. (UC ’62) of Augusta, Ga., on April 18, 2008. A. L. Wehmeyer (A&S ’62) of North Hollywood, Calif., on Aug. 19, 2007. Earl P. Desselle (E ’63) of Baton Rouge, La., on March 31, 2008. George W. Thurmond (M ’63) of

Augusta, Ga., on June 12, 2008. John G. DeRussy (UC ’64) of New Orleans on June 11, 2008. David Meyers (A&S ’64) of Fort Royal, Va., on March 13, 2008. Carla Mcmullan Harman (SW ’65) of Rocklin, Calif., on Oct. 25, 2007. Welton P. Mouton Jr. (L ’65) of Lafayette, La., on May 14, 2007. Gladys Muller Simpson (G ’65) of New Roads, La., on May 21, 2008. Harris H. Yates II (A&S ’65) of West Chester, Ohio, on April 18, 2008. J. Bruce Hagan (L ’66) of Wayne, Pa., on March 23, 2008. Lorita Lagiglia Raschke (NC ’67) of Bainbridge Island, Wash., on June 7, 2008. Carmen M. Aponte (UC ’69, G ’71) of Marrero, La., on May 17, 2008. David Buchendler (PHTM ’69) of Sonoma, Calif., on May 29, 2008. Charles K. Clark (A&S ’69) of Kingwood, Texas, on April 30, 2008. Stephen E. Mullins (A&S ’69) of Deer Park, Texas, on Dec. 15, 2007. Jeffrey H. Johnson (A&S ’70) of Durham, N.C., on March 3, 2008. Grey Flowers Ferris (A&S ’71, L ’71) of Vicksburg, Miss., on June 13, 2008. Michael F. Marvin (A&S ’71) of Houston on May 13, 2008. Dennis R. Stewart (A&S ’71) of Chattanooga, Tenn., on March 22, 2008. Harriet F. Burnett (G ’72) of Whittier, N.C., on April 29, 2008. Paul A. Dumas (G ’72) of New Orleans on May 20, 2008. George Martin Gates (PHTM ’73) of New Orleans on June 26, 2008. James A. Hernquist (A&S ’73, B ’75) of Henderson, Nev., on April 9, 2008. Graciela L. Lopez (G ’74) of Destrehan, La., on May 14, 2008. Frank W. Masson (A ’74) of New Orleans on March 22, 2008. Alexandre F. LeDoux Jr. (E ’75) of

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New Orleans on Feb. 20, 2007. Edward B. Melton Jr. (A&S ’75, B ’76) of Hammond, La., on April 23, 2008. Gordon L. Blundell Jr. (A&S ’76, M ’80) of Mandeville, La., on April 13, 2008. John W. Grant (L ’76) of Baton Rouge, La., on April 23, 2008. Leon Sanders III (L ’76) of San Diego on March 17, 2008. Clifford H. Van Meter Jr. (A&S ’77, M ’81) of Metairie, La., on May 28, 2008. Claudia Ann Glassman (SW ’78) of Brimfield, Mass., on March 21, 2008. Allen H. Graves (A&S ’78) of Auburn, Ala., on March 5, 2008. Adam Pritchard (B ’78) of Houston on May 25, 2008. William R. Hartley (PHTM ’81) of New Orleans on April 28, 2008. Daniel E. McMullen Sr. (UC ’81) of New Orleans on June 20, 2008. John B. Young III (B ’82) of Dunwoody, Ga., on May 14, 2008. Marti Phillips Tessier (L ’83) of Folsom, La., on June 10, 2008. Ricki Stults Janicek (G ’85) of Montgomery, Texas, on March 12, 2008. Lawrence A. Rivers (L ’85) of Carmel, Ind., on June 19, 2008. R. James Stelly (A&S ’85) of New Orleans on May 7, 2008. Keith A. Landesman (A&S ’92) of Weston, Conn., on April 13, 2008. Paul A. Callais (B ’93) of Gonzales, La., on June 25, 2008. Erik M. Latimer (TC ’94) of Downers Grove, Ill., on June 4, 2008. Myra Lisa Davis (UC ’98) of New Orleans on May 19, 2008. Martin S. Litwin (PHTM ’98) of New Orleans on May 11, 2008. H. Ashley Morris (G ’99) of Fort Myers, Fla., on April 2, 2008. James W. Fuller (PHTM ’00) of Inverness, Fla., on April 23, 2008. David L. Yaggy (B ’07) of Birmingham, Ala., on March 14, 2008.

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Keeping it real By Nick Marinello There is a remnant of a truck float wasting in a vacant lot along Earhart Boulevard. It is sun-wearied, windripped and water-rotted, and the decorative snowflakes, candy canes and elves with which it had been festooned now tremble pale and ghostlike in the summer heat. Even still, the nibbling of time has not yet claimed the float’s theme, which in bold letters proclaims “Santa Claus Comes to Mardi Gras.” Ouch. It’s often painfully weird when local customs slam against those of the larger world. What were they thinking, that group of family members and friends who banded together to design, build and name this truck float? Did they believe the fount of all possible themes to be tapped and emptied, and so settled for Santa? Or did the thematic concept descend one night as a revelation, and from that point on there was no other choice? Either way, you sense the hand of lunacy in the decision. There’s a knee-jerk impulse to circle the floats and feistily declare, “Render unto St. Nick the Christmas season, but keep Mardi Gras local, y’all.” This stance is understandable. Against the backdrop of an increasingly homogeneous national culture, the New Orleans Carnival is genuinely a local expression. It feels real because it has been assembled year after year by locals who aspire to nothing more than entertaining themselves. Here, however, is where raising the flag of authenticity becomes tricky. Because what better reflects the spirit of Carnival—and, in many ways, the spirit of the city itself—than the cadre of random, artless and ungroomed

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sensibilities that conspire to create Mardi Gras Santa? Isn’t he the product of the same culture that produces a long list of eccentricities such as quaint misspellings on chalkboard menus, random pronunciation of streets and folks who spill their life stories in drugstore lines? In his book Authentic New Orleans: Tourism Culture and Race in the Big Easy, sociology associate professor Kevin Fox Gotham reminds us that “‘tradition’ is not just inherited from the past but is socially ‘constructed’ through everyday social activities and practices, taking place amid material needs and social circumstances.” If that’s true, then “Santa Comes to Mardi Gras” does not desecrate local culture but rather sanctifies it. And Santa doesn’t care about the irony; his existential self is just happy to roll down the street on Carnival Day. There was some talk immediately after Katrina about the potential for the “Disneyization” of New Orleans. That Big Money would come in from the Outside and buy up what was left of the city, paint the walls, fill in the cracks, upgrade the uniforms and charge

admission. No luck, by the way. It hasn’t happened, but the fear that it would promoted in certain quarters much talk about the real New Orleans, the true New Orleans, the authentic New Orleans. As if what is real, true and authentic is as undisputed as, say, the length of a recordsetting field goal. It is important to understand authenticity as “plural, conflictual and contested,” writes Gotham. Politically, it is a category “fashioned in power struggles of factions and groups to create and control material resources and the contents of collective representation.” You can argue against the integrity of “Santa Comes to Mardi Gras” because everyone knows the importance of maintaining the continuity of the city’s traditions. You can argue for the integrity of “Santa Comes to Mardi Gras” because everyone knows Carnival is about the quirky, unselfconscious expression of the individual. It’s hard to let go of the notion of undisputed, objective authenticity, especially once you’ve cornered the market on it. Still, one can hold on to other things. For instance, in 1970, the Saints’ Tom Dempsey kicked the ball 63 yards in the last two seconds of a game against the Detroit Lions. The ball went through the goal posts, the longest regular season field goal in NFL history. The Saints beat the Lions, 19-17, one of only two victories that year, and if you were outside throwing your own football around, or trimming the grass, or sitting on porch steps, you heard your neighbors who were tuned into the television or radio broadcast scream, shout and laugh like kids on Christmas morning or maybe like Santa at Mardi Gras, breathless and dumbfounded by the sweetness of life. Nick Marinello is features editor for Tulanian.

ILLUSTRATION: MARK ANDRESEN


Create Something You Love Mona Mailhes (NC ’49) established endowed funds that will continue to purchase books for the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library indefinitely, enhancing Tulane’s special collections on subjects that she loved. Paul Sussdorf, known as “Mr. Paul” to many Tulane athletes, left a gift in his will to support Tulane baseball, ensuring that his presence will always be felt on game night at Turchin.

Robert (M ’41) and Irene Black’s bequests greatly enhanced the School of Medicine Alumni Scholarship Fund, allowing the most qualified medical students to come to Tulane without regard to their personal financial situations.

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ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS to create or support a project you love is to include Tulane in your estate plan. A bequest can be a specific amount, or all or part of what is left after family needs are met. Simply meet with your attorney to draft, update, or supplement your will. THEN LET US KNOW. We would like to honor you with lifetime membership in the prestigious William Preston Johnston Society.

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Your Gift. Your Way. Office of Planned Gifts • 504-865-5794 • toll free 800-999-0181 Bequests • Gift Annuities • Charitable Trusts • Retirement Plan Gifts • Securities Gifts • Real Estate Gifts • Insurance Gifts


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