Antoinette Hibbs: The Face of the Dean’s Office

Spring 2015 | Article By Benjamin Morris

Antoinette Hibbs

“She’s the face of our office,” says Dean Nick Altiero of Antoinette Hibbs, his executive secretary. “She’s the point person—she’s the first person you see.”

A native New Orleanian, Antoinette, or Toni, Hibbs came to Tulane in 1997 after a career in telecommunications. After working at the Alumni House, she joined the Department of Electrical Engineering where she remained until Hurricane Katrina. Following the storm, the elimination of that department and the subsequent restructuring of the School, in 2007 Hibbs then moved to her current position.

As Senior Executive Secretary, her responsibilities include handling the Dean’s affairs, as well as assisting student organizations and managing room bookings. After seventeen years at Tulane, Hibbs has gained a wealth of institutional knowledge. “Sometimes I feel like a Tulane directory,” she laughs.

Altiero cites Hibbs’ work ethic as well as her gracious personality as her key assets: “In a position like this, we need someone who can get the job done. But Toni also has this positive, welcoming attitude of ‘let me see if I can help you.’ It’s how you want the School to be perceived—she does a great job of that.”

Sandra Parker, Assistant Dean for Finance and Personnel, echoes Altiero’s sentiments. “I am always grateful for Toni’s sense of calm, especially during frenzied moments.”

Part of her attitude, Hibbs says, comes from the way that Tulane has become like a second family to her. After Katrina, facing great personal loss, she says that members of the Tulane community “rallied around” her and kept her spirits up even as she undertook the difficult work of rebuilding her family.

Since those days, her connections to the university have only deepened: in 2007, Hibbs graduated with a degree in media arts from the School of Continuing Studies, and along with her youngest son, who earned his bachelor’s in 2010, she is proud to call herself a Tulanian.

Looking back over her career, Hibbs appreciates Tulane’s diversity, its vibrant community, and its commitment to innovation more than anything. A lifelong learner herself, she remains excited about new challenges and opportunities.

“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up,” Hibbs laughs again. “I like so many things. I have a real thirst to learn.”

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