"I am proud of all that Tulane has done to assist New Orleans in its recovery. I encourage the entire class to attend the reunion to see how much the city has accomplished and learn about how Tulane is engaged in the community."
-- Jim Bertrand, A&S'82
I grew up in New Orleans. I was accepted at Tulane and was able to attend because of a scholarship. My buddy and I had an apartment on St. Charles Avenue on the parade route. We lasted one year in that apartment. Mardi Gras Day was unbelievable. Our apartment filled with hundreds of people we did not know, all using our bathroom and claiming to know the people that lived there.
New Orleans is special in so many ways. Once you become connected to New Orleans, then you move somewhere else, you realize how unique a place it is.
When I think about my time at Tulane, I think about seeing the Neville Brothers at Tipitina's and going to the Maple Leaf to catch the Radiators many times. I think about Norby's Restaurant and Bar, where they had wheel-barrel races for Tulane-LSU football games. Norby's isn't there anymore. It is now another restaurant (Patois) and I went there with my son who is attending Tulane.
I remember the easy access we had to our professors at Tulane. Having gone through the process of my son selecting a college, you see that there are a lot of choices to consider – big schools, small schools – but to go to a world-class institution that is still a small school with access to professors is really special. I think it is still true today; it was certainly true when I was at Tulane.
I support Tulane for a lot of reasons. I want the school to continue to prosper and build on its international reputation. I want to see the athletics teams prosper to bring national recognition to Tulane. But what transformed things for me was Katrina. I went from being someone who would give a little bit to someone who contributes in a fairly substantial way. Tulane is important to New Orleans. New Orleans without Tulane, or Tulane without New Orleans, is something you can't imagine. That is what got me by the heartstrings.
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