Georgia Banker’s Generosity Towards the School of Science and Engineering Embodies the Tulanian Spirit of Giving

Spring 2017

Mark and Diana Tipton

There are a lot of great ways to express your loyalty and dedication to your alma mater. For Mark Tipton, Georgia Regional President of IBERIABANK, giving back to Tulane was an easy decision to make.

Tipton, who received a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1978, and his wife Diana, established a two-part gift for the School of Science and Engineering.

The Mark and Diana Tipton Professorship Fund supports a faculty member’s salary and the associated research expenses while he or she pursues their scholarly career at Tulane University’s School of Science and Engineering. Established alongside the professorship is a scholarship to fund a student athlete and his or her expenses while attending the School of Science and Engineering.

According to Tipton, the gift was designed with careful thought.

“My wife Diana and I were talking about ways in which we could give back to Tulane, and we thought about the many things that make Tulane special. Two key elements of any great university include a world-class faculty and a high-caliber student body,” says Tipton. “Attracting and retaining exceptional faculty members will always be in Tulane’s best interest. While all Tulane students are expected to work hard, student athletes in particular must make unique sacrifices every day, both on and off the field.”

Tipton says his original plans did not include a career in banking; in fact, his undergraduate degree was in Biology. But he explains that Tulane’s unique undergraduate curriculum provided a strong foundation for many disciplines, and eventually he realized he was more interested in pursuing a career in business. After graduation from Tulane, Tipton pursued a Master’s in Business Administration from Baylor University.

“My undergraduate degree from Tulane provided a basis for analytical thinking, and my M.B.A. added the financial expertise I needed to be successful in the banking industry.”

After 22 years in the banking industry, in 2003 Tipton co-founded Georgia Commerce Bank, which was subsequently acquired in 2015 by Louisiana-based IBERIABANK. Working for IBERIABANK now gives him yet another reason to return to New Orleans.

A native to San Antonio, Tipton says he fondly remembers his time at Tulane, and the fun he had exploring the colorful city of New Orleans. His experience in Greek life as a member of Sigma Chi fraternity has led to many special friendships which he says he will also endure through his lifetime.

“Each time I return to campus and engage with students and faculty, it gives me great pride to see how Tulane continues to thrive.”

Tipton is excited about his new role as a member of the Board of Tulane. When asked what inspired his desire to give back to the university, he said the answer was simple.

“I think back to the many things I gained during my four years as a student at Tulane- a valuable education, the opportunity to experience New Orleans and all that her unique culture has to offer, and the enduring friendships I made as a result of being there,” says Tipton. “So the better question is, how could I not want to give back? It’s so important to me to help ensure that Tulane’s future continues to shine brightly, and that the next generation of students have the same opportunities in which I benefitted.”

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764