Tulane University in New Orleans

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Tulane University (officially The Tulane University of Louisiana or simply TU) is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Founded as a public medical college in 1834, the school grew into a comprehensive university in 1847 and was eventually privatized under the endowments of Paul Tulane and Josephine Louise Newcomb in 1884. Tulane is a member of the Association of American Universities and the colloquial Southern Ivy League.


Founding and early history – 19th century

The university was founded as the Medical College of Louisiana in 1834 partly as a response to the fears of smallpox, yellow fever and cholera in America. The university became only the second medical school in the South, and the 15th in the United States at the time. In 1847, the state legislature established the school as the University of Louisiana,

In 1885, the university established its graduate division, later becoming the Graduate School. One year later, gifts from Josephine Louise Newcomb totaling over $3.6 million, led to the establishment of the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College within Tulane University. Newcomb was the first coordinate college for women in the United States and became a model for such institutions as Pembroke College and Barnard College. In 1925, Tulane established the independent Graduate School. Two years later, the university set up a School of Social Work, also the first in the southern United States.

A detailed account of the history of Tulane University from its founding through 1965 was published by Dyer.

21st century

In July 2004, Tulane received two $30 million donations to its endowment, the largest individual or combined gifts in the university's history. The donations came from Jim Clark, a member of the university's board of trustees and founder of Netscape, and David Filo, a graduate of its School of Engineering and co-founder of Yahoo!. A fund-raising campaign called "Promise & Distinction" raised $730.6 million as of October 3, 2008, increasing the university's total endowment to more than $1.1 billion; by March 2009, Yvette Jones, Tulane's Chief Operating Officer, told Tulane's Staff Advisory Council that the endowment "has lost close to 37%", affected by the late-2000s recession.

In April 2010, the Tulane admissions office reported that it had received 44,000 applications for the class of 2014, breaking the previous record set by the class of 2013. While unable to confirm it officially, the admissions office stated that “it appears that we have the most applications for the upcoming fall semester of any private university in the country.”

Hurricane Katrina

As a result of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and its damaging effects on New Orleans, most of the university was closed for the second time in its history—the first being during the Civil War. The closing affected the first semester of the school calendar year. The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's distance learning programs and courses stayed active. The School of Medicine relocated to Houston, Texas for a year. Aside from student athletes attending college classes together on the same campuses, most undergraduate and graduate students dispersed to campuses throughout the U.S.

Facing a budget shortfall, the Board of Administrators announced a "Renewal Plan" in December 2005 to reduce its annual operating budget and create a "student-centric" campus. Addressing the school's commitment to New Orleans, a course credit involving "service learning" became a requirement for an undergraduate degree. In 2006 Tulane became the first Carnegie ranked “high research activity” institution to have an undergraduate public service graduation requirement. In May 2006, graduation ceremonies included commencement speakers former Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who commended the students for their desire to return to Tulane and serve New Orleans in its renewal.



Tulane's primary campus is located in Uptown New Orleans on St. Charles Avenue, directly opposite of Audubon Park, and extends north to South Claiborne Avenue through Freret and Willow Street. The campus is known colloquially as the Uptown or St. Charles campus. It was established in the 1890s and occupies more than 110 acre of land. The campus is known both for its large live oak trees as well as its architecturally historic buildings. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. The campus architecture consists of several styles, including Richardsonian Romanesque, Elizabethan, Italian Renaissance, Mid-Century Modern, and contemporary styles. The front campus buildings use Indiana White Limestone or orange brick for exteriors, while the middle campus buildings are mostly adorned in red St. Joe brick, the staple of Newcomb College Campus buildings. Loyola University is directly adjacent to Tulane, on the downriver side. Audubon Place, where the President of Tulane resides, is on the upriver side.

The centerpiece of the Gibson Quad is the first academic building built on campus, Gibson Hall, in 1894. The schools of Architecture and Social Work are also located on the oldest section of the campus. The middle of the campus, between Freret and Willow Streets and bisected by McAlister Place and Newcomb Place, serves as the center of campus activities. The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, Fogelman Arena, McAlister Auditorium, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, and most of the student residence halls and academic buildings populate the center of campus. The facilities for the Freeman School of Business line McAlister Place and sit next to the Tulane Law School. The middle campus is also home to the historic Newcomb College Campus, which sits between Newcomb Place and Broadway. The Newcomb campus was designed by New York architect James Gamble Rogers, noted for his work with Yale University's campus. The Newcomb campus is home to Tulane's performing and fine arts venues. The back of campus, between Willow Street and South Claiborne, is home to two residence halls, Reily Recreation Center and Turchin Stadium, the home of Green Wave baseball.

After Hurricane Katrina, Tulane has continued to build new facilities and renovate old spaces on its campus. The newest residence hall, Lallage Feazel Wall Residential College, was completed in August 2005 and took in its first students when Tulane re-opened in January 2006. The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life was renovated to be a green, environmentally friendly building and opened for student use in January 2007. In 2009, the university altered McAlister Drive, a street that ran through the middle of the uptown campus into pedestrian walkway renamed McAlister Place. The area was resurfaced and the newly added green spaces were adorned with Japanese magnolias, irises and new lighting. Coincidentally, in late November 2008 the City of New Orleans announced plans to add bicycle lanes to the St. Charles Avenue corridor that runs in front of campus.

Additionally, Tulane is renovating Dinwiddie Hall to be the campus's first building to attain a Silver LEED certification award. The Dinwiddie Hall renovation began in June 2009, and is expected to be finished in July 2010. Tulane has also broken ground on a new residence hall, which will also apply for LEED certification. This dorm, designed to be a residential college like the recently constructed Wall Residential College, will have 267 beds.

Other campuses

  • Tulane University Health Sciences campus, located in the downtown New Orleans Central Business District between the Louisiana Superdome and Canal Street in 18 mid/high-rise buildings, which houses the School of Medicine, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the main campus of the Tulane Medical Center;
  • Tulane University Square, 80000 sqft of space and 6 acre of surrounding land, is located on Broadway and Leake Avenue adjacent to the Mississippi River.
  • Tulane National Primate Research Center in Covington, La., one of eight such centers funded by the National Institutes of Health;
  • F. Edward Hebert Research Center, near Belle Chasse, La., which provides facilities for graduate training and research in computer science, bioengineering, and biology;
  • Satellite campuses of the School of Continuing Studies, Tulane's open admissions school of continuing studies, located in downtown New Orleans, in Elmwood, LA, in Biloxi, MS, and in Madison, MS.
  • Houston, Cali, Colombia, Santiago, Chile, Shanghai, China, and Taipei, Taiwan where the business school offers an executive MBA program. Tulane also has signed an educational affiliation agreement with International University in Geneva.
  • Tulane Law School offers classes through a European summer abroad program, utilizing many prestigious universities throughout several countries. In 2009, the school had programs in England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Environmental sustainability

Tulane hosted an Environmental Summit at the law school in April 2009, an event that all students could attend for free. Many students from Tulane’s two active environmental groups, Green Club and Environmental Law Society, attended. These student groups push for global citizenship and environmental stewardship on campus. In 2007 Tulane made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%, and students help by reading the Energy Smart Shopping Guide and by visiting IT to green-up all of their electronics. Tulane recently received an "A-" on the College Sustainability Report Card.

Organization and Academics


Tulane University, as a private institution, has been governed since 1884 by the Board of Tulane (also known as the Board of Administrators of the Tulane Educational Fund) that was established in 1882. There have been 14 presidents of Tulane since then. The board comprises more than 30 regular members (plus several members emeriti) and the University president. In 2008, Tulane became one of 76 U.S. colleges to maintain an endowment above $1 billion.

Schools and divisions

Tulane is organized into 10 schools centered around liberal arts, sciences, and specialized professions. All undergraduate students are enrolled in the Newcomb-Tulane College. The graduate programs are governed by the individual schools.

Tulane is unique among universities in the United States in its academic organization in that all undergraduates are enrolled in Newcomb-Tulane College as well as being registered in the School which houses their major. Newcomb-Tulane College serves as an administrative center for all aspects of undergraduate life at Tulane, thus it is similar to Yale and Harvard universities in this type of undergraduate organization.

  • The first architecture courses at Tulane leading to an architectural engineering degree were offered in 1894. Initially part of the College of Technology, the Tulane School of Architecture was separately formed as a school in 1953. The Tulane School of Architecture ranks 32nd nationally for its research performance.
  • The A.B. Freeman School of Business was named in honor of Alfred Bird Freeman, former chair of the Louisiana Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and a prominent New Orleans philanthropist and civic leader. The business school is ranked 44th nationally and 28th among programs at private universities by Forbes magazine. US News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools 2012 edition ranked the MBA program 40th overall. It was ranked 28th nationally and 48th internationally by Mexican business magazine Expansion (August 2007), and 17th nationally and 24th internationally by AméricaEconomía magazine (August 2008). Its finance program was ranked 10th in the world by the Financial Times. The school ranked 13th nationally for entrepreneurship by Entrepreneur magazine (October 2006).
  • The Tulane University Law School, established in 1847, is the 12th oldest law school in the United States. In 1990, it became the first law school in the United States to mandate pro bono work as a graduation requirement. US News & World Report's 2012 edition ranked the School of Law 47th overall and 8th in environmental law. In the following year John Leonard Riddell invented the first practical microscope to allow binocular viewing through a single objective lens. In 2001 the Tulane Center for Gene Therapy started as the first major center in the U.S. to focus on research using adult stem cells. The school has highly selective admissions, accepting only 175 medical students from more than 9,000 applications. It comprises 20 academic departments: Anesthesiology, Biochemistry, Family and Community Medicine, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Otolaryngology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychiatry and Neurology, Radiology, Structural and Cellular Biology, Surgery and Urology. In 2008 US News and World Reports ranked the School of Medicine's research at 55th.
  • The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is arguably one of the oldest public health schools in the U.S. Although a program in hygiene was initiated in 1881, the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was not established until 1912 as a separate entity from the College of Medicine. In 1919 the separate school ceased to be an independent unit and was merged with the College of Medicine. By 1967 the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine reestablished as a separate academic unit of Tulane. In the fall of 2006, the School of Public Health began admitting undergraduate students. US News & World Report's 2007 edition ranked the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine 13th among all public health programs tied with Yale University.
  • The Tulane University School of Science and Engineering offers degrees in Biological Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Engineering Physics, Environmental Biology, Environmental Science, Geology, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology, Psychology and Early Childhood Development with minors also in Engineering Science and Marine Biology.
  • In 1914 the Southern School of Social Sciences and Public Services was the first training program for social workers in the Deep South. By 1927 the school became a separate program with a two-year master of arts. The Tulane University School of Social Work has awarded the master of social work degrees to more than 4,700 students from all 50 of the United States and more than 30 other countries.
  • Tulane offers continuing education courses and associate's and bachelor's degrees through the Tulane School of Continuing Studies.
  • Tulane has several academic and research institutes and centers including The Murphy Institute, Newcomb College Center for Research on Women, The Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and the Law School's Payson Center for International Development.

Core curriculum

As part of the post-Hurricane Katrina Renewal Plan, the university initiated an extensive university-wide core curriculum. Three major elements of the university core are (1) freshman seminars called TIDES classes, (2) a two-class sequence for public service, and (3) a capstone experience for students to apply knowledge in their fields of study. Many course requirements of the core curriculum can be certified through Advanced Placement (AP) exams or International Baccalaureate (IB) course credits, or placement exams in English and foreign languages offered by the university during orientation. Some schools have different core requirements (e.g., students in the School of Science and Engineering are required to take fewer language classes than students in the School of Liberal Arts).


Tulane was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1958. Tulane also is designated by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with "very high research activity." For 2007, Tulane reached the highest level of research funding in its history, exceeding $157.5 million. In 2008 Tulane was ranked by the Ford Foundation as the major international studies research institution in the South and one of the top 15 nationally. The National Institutes of Health ranks funding to Tulane at 79th.

  • Fulbright Scholars: 32
  • Rhodes Scholars: 17
  • Marshall Scholars: 23
  • Goldwater Scholars: 27
  • Weidenfeld Scholars: 1


Overall university rankings and ratings include:

  • One of 195 U.S. universities recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with a "community engagement" classification.
  • US News & World Report's 2012 edition ranked Tulane's undergraduate program 50th overall among 262 "national universities."
  • Forbes magazine ranked Tulane 58th overall in a study conducted by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.
  • Tulane holds four ratings from The Princeton Review: Great College Towns, Best in the Southeast, College With a Conscience, and Happiest Students.
  • Tulane ranked 19th in the Princeton Reviews Top Party Schools list in 2009


  • 2010 undergraduate applications: 43,814
  • 2010 freshman class size: 1,630
  • 2010 endowment: $888.5 million, down from $1.04 billion in 2008


The Dean's Honor Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship awarded by Tulane which covers full tuition for the duration of the recipient's undergraduate program. The scholarship is offered to between 75 and 100 incoming freshmen by the Office of Undergraduate Admission, and is awarded only through a separate application. This scholarship is renewable provided that the recipient maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA at the end of each semester and maintains continuous enrollment in a full-time undergraduate division. Typically, recipients have SAT I scores of 1450 or higher or an ACT composite score of 33 or higher, rank in the top 5% of their high school graduating class, have a rigorous course load including honors and Advanced Placement classes, and an outstanding record of extracurricular activities. Notable recipients include Sean M. Berkowitz, David Filo and Eric R. Palmer.

After her death in 1999, Lallage Feazel Wall, daughter of interim U.S. Senator William C. Feazel and widow of State Representative Shady R. Wall of West Monroe left $18 million to Tulane to promote "creativity" among university faculty and staff.

Student life

The student body of Tulane University is represented by the Associated Student Body (ASB). In 1998, the students of Tulane University voted by referendum to split the Associated Student Body (ASB) Senate into two separate houses, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). USG and GAPSA come together twice a semester to meet as the ASB Senate, where issues pertaining to the entire Tulane student body are discussed. The meetings of the ASB Senate are presided over by the ASB President, the only student that represents all students of Tulane University.

Tulane maintains 3,350 beds in 12 residence halls on its uptown campus for undergraduate students. Per the Renewal Plan instituted after Hurricane Katrina, Tulane requires all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus, except those who are from surrounding neighborhoods in New Orleans. Due to the increasing size of incoming classes, Tulane has allowed a small number of rising Sophomores to reside off campus instead of being required to remain in campus housing. Housing is not guaranteed for juniors and seniors. Tulane has begun construction on a new residential college that will have roughly 250 new beds. Construction is slated to be complete by fall 2011.

Student media

The Tulane Hullabaloo is the university's weekly student-run newspaper. It is published every Friday of the academic year, except on holidays, and has received multiple Pacemaker Awards, the highest award in college journalism.

The Jambalaya, Tulane's yearbook, published annually since 1897, published its last edition (Volume 99) in 1995, because of funding and management problems. In the fall of 2003, the Jambalaya was reestablished as a student club, and in the Spring of 2004, the centennial edition of the Jambalaya was published. The staff now continues to publish a Jambalaya annually.

The student-run radio station of the university, WTUL New Orleans 91.5, began broadcasting on campus in 1971.


Tulane is a member of Conference USA in athletics and an official member of the NCAA Division I. The university was a charter member of the Southeastern Conference, in which it competed until 1966. Tulane, along with other academically-oriented, private schools had considered to form the "Southern Ivy League" (Magnolia Conference) in the 1950s. Baseball and women's volleyball are among its stronger sports. In 2008, Tulane reopened Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, a renovated baseball venue for its team. The baseball team consistently ranks among the top 25 in national polls such as Baseball America, USA Today/ESPN, and Collegiate Baseball. In 2001 and 2005, Tulane baseball finished with 56 wins and placed 5th at the College World Series.

The women's volleyball team, which plays in Fogelman Arena, won the 2008 Conference USA Championship tournament. Fogelman Arena was renovated for basketball in the fall of 2006. The Green Wave football team went 12-0 in 1998, winning the Liberty Bowl and finishing the season ranked No. 7 in the nation. The Green Wave also won the Hawaii Bowl in 2002, the Liberty Bowl in 1970, and the 1935 Sugar Bowl. Tulane once used Tulane Stadium on the uptown campus that seated more than 80,000 people, held three Super Bowls, and was the home of the New Orleans Saints and the Sugar Bowl. The stadium was demolished in 1980. The football team now plays in the refurbished Mercedes-Benz Superdome and occasionally has played at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park.

Tulane also participates in a variety of men's and women's intercollegiate sports such as basketball, track and cross country, swimming, tennis, and golf. Tulane's graduation rate for its student-athletes consistently ranks among the top of Division I athletics programs. Most of the administrative and athletic support facilities (such as weight rooms, training center, locker rooms, conference rooms, and hall of fame displays) are located in the Wilson Athletic Center.

Notable people

Tulane is home to many alumni who have contributed to both the arts and sciences and to the political and business realms. For example, from literature: Shirley Ann Grau, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner; from business: David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!, and Neil Bush, economist and brother of President George W. Bush; from entertainment Lauren Hutton, film actor and supermodel, and Paul Michael Glaser, TV actor of "Starsky and Hutch"; from music: conductor and composer Odaline de la Martinez, who was the first woman to conduct at a BBC Proms concert in London; from government: Luther Terry, former U.S. Surgeon General who issued the first official health hazard warning for tobacco; from medicine: Michael DeBakey, inventor of the roller pump, and Dr. Regina Benjamin, President Obama's Surgeon General; from science A. Baldwin Wood, inventor of the wood screw pump and Lisa P. Jackson, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator under President Obama; from sports: Bobby Brown, former New York Yankees third baseman and former president of the American League. A former graduate residence hall on campus was also named for Engineering graduate Harold Rosen, who invented the geosynchronous communications satellite. Douglas G. Hurley, NASA astronaut and pilot of mission STS-127, became the first alumnus to travel in outer space in July 2009.

Tulane also hosted several prominent faculty, such as two members who each won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Louis J. Ignarro and Andrew V. Schally. Other notables such as John Kennedy Toole, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Confederacy of Dunces, Rudolph Matas, "father of vascular surgery," and George E. Burch, inventor of the phlebomanometer in medicine, also were on faculty at Tulane. Five U.S. Supreme Court Justices have taught at Tulane, including Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Tulane has also hosted several prominent artists, most notably Mark Rothko, who was a Visiting Artist from 1956-1957. Currently on the faculty are James Carville and Nick Spitzer.

Several football alumni play in the National Football League, including Patrick Ramsey (New Orleans Saints), J.P. Losman (Buffalo Bills), Anthony Cannon (Detroit Lions), Mewelde Moore (Pittsburgh Steelers), Matt Forté (Chicago Bears), and Roydell Williams (Tennessee Titans). Several baseball alumni play in the Major Leagues, including Andy Cannizaro (New York Yankees) and Micah Owings (Arizona Diamondbacks).

Tulane in literature and media

Tulane has been portrayed in several books, television shows and films. Also, several movies have been filmed at Tulane University, especially since tax credits from the state of Louisiana have drawn more productions to the new "Hollywood South" in the late 2000s. Also the uptown campus has been host to two movie premieres from 2006 to 2007.

See also

  • List of Tulane University people

Notes and references

External links

Source en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulane_University