Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian, coeducational research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Founded as a public medical college in 1834, the school grew into a full university and was eventually privatized under the endowments of Paul Tulane and Josephine Louise Newcomb in the late 19th century. It is the only American university that has been converted from a public institution to a private institution.
The University dates from 1834 as the Medical College of Louisiana. With the addition of a law department, it became The University of Louisiana in 1847, a public university. 1851 saw the establishment of an Academic Department, the forerunner of the College of Arts and Sciences. Two significant scientific innovations were made by faculty at the University at this time. J. Lawrence Smith invented the inverted microscope in 1850, and John L. Riddell invented the first practical microscope to allow binocular viewing through a single objective lens in 1851.
The University closed for three years during the Civil War; after reopening, it went through a period of financial challenges. Paul Tulane donated extensive real estate within New Orleans for the support of education; this donation led to the establishment of a Tulane Educational Fund (TEF), whose board of administrators sought to support the University of Louisiana instead of establishing a new university. In response, through the influence of former Civil War general Randall Lee Gibson, the Louisiana state legislature transferred control of the University of Louisiana to the administrators of the TEF in 1884. This act created the Tulane University of Louisiana.
In 1885, a Graduate Division started, the predecessor to the Graduate School. One year later, gifts from Josephine Louise Newcomb totaling over $3.6 million led to the establishment of 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 Radcliffe College and Barnard College.
In 1894 a College of Technology formed, the forerunner to the College of Engineering. In the same year the university moved to its present-day uptown campus on St. Charles Avenue, five miles by streetcar from downtown.
An Architecture Department originated within the College of Technology in 1907. One year later, Schools of Dentistry and Pharmacy appeared, both temporarily: Dentistry ended in 1928, and Pharmacy six years later.
1925 saw the formal establishment of the Graduate School. Two years later, the university set up a School of Social Work, the first in the Deep South.
The house of Tulane's president on St. Charles Avenue was once the mansion of Sam Zemurray who was the head of the United Fruit Company which became infamous for its exploitation of Latin American countries as "banana republics."
University College dates from 1942. The School of Architecture grew out of Engineering in 1950.
The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine dates from 1967 and is the oldest school of its kind in the country. Also, Tulane's School of Tropical Medicine is the only one of its kind in the country. In the Fall of 2006, the School of Public Health began admitting undergraduate students.
On April 23, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., spoke at Tulane University's Fogelman Arena at the invitation of Congressman F. Edward Hebert, the powerful representative of Louisiana’s 1st Congressional District. During the historic speech, Ford announced that the Vietnam War was "finished as far as America is concerned"- one week before the fall of Saigon. Ford drew parallels to the Battle of New Orleans saying that such positive activity could do for America’s morale what the battle did in 1815.
Tulane once had a football stadium on campus that seated over 80,000 people, held three Super Bowls, and was the home of the New Orleans Saints and the Sugar Bowl. When Tulane Stadium was razed after the construction of the Superdome, workers found a mummy couple underneath the bleachers. The football team now plays in the Superdome.
In 1998, the student body of Tulane University voted by referendum to split the Associate Student Body (ASB) Senate into two separate houses, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). Previous to the split, only one Executive Cabinet was elected and all student government meetings consisted of both undergraduate and graduate students. Now, each house has its own Executive Cabinet and Senate elected by its own students. USG and GAPSA meet separately to issues pertaining to their respective constituencies. However, the Office of the Associated Student Body President remained - the ASB President is a representative of every student on all of Tulane's campuses. This person is still elected by the entire student body of Tulane, both undergraduate and graduate students.
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 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.
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 and founder of Netscape, and David Filo, a graduate of its School of Engineering and co-founder of Yahoo!. In the months following Hurricane Katrina, restrictions were removed from these gifts to ensure the continued financial health of the university. 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. Tulane became one of 76 U.S. colleges to maintain an endowment of above $1 billion.
On March 4, 2008, the university announced that a record 34,000 students had applied for admission to the class of 2012, and that the average SAT score was expected to be around 1365, marking a rise of approximately 30 points above the average of the class of 2011.
As a result of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and its effects on New Orleans, most of Tulane University was closed for the second time in its history—the first being during the American Civil War. The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's distance learning programs and courses stayed active. 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.
Tulane's uptown campus, established in the 1890s, occupies over 110 acres (44.5 ha), facing St. Charles Avenue directly opposite Audubon Park. The rear of the uptown campus reaches South Claiborne Avenue, and it is divided by Freret and Willow Streets. The campus architecture consists of several styles, including Richardsonian Romanesque, Elizabethan, Italian Renaissance, Brutalist Modern, and Ultramodern styles. Though there isn't a coherent building design across the entire campus, most buildings make use of similar materials. 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 buildings. Loyola University is directly adjacent to Tulane, on the downriver side. The uptown campus is known for its many large live oak trees and architecturally historic buildings.
The front of the uptown campus, between St. Charles Avenue and Freret Street, is home to most of the school's academic buildings, including the facilities for the schools of Architecture and Social Work. The centerpiece of the Academic Quad is the first academic building, Gibson Hall. The middle of the campus, between Freret and Willow Streets and bisected by McAlister Drive 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, most of the student residence halls and academic buildings populate the center of campus. The facilities for the Business school line McAlister Drive and Tulane Law School sits adjacent to the Business 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. Fogelman Arena was renovated for basketball in the fall of 2006, and is expected to undergo another renovation to add more seats to the small arena. The Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life was renovated to be a green, environmentally friendly building and opened for student use in January 2007. Greer Field at Turchin Stadium was renovated and reopened for the 2008 baseball season. Tulane also hopes to begin construction on another new residence hall. Other facilities of Tulane include:
Tulane is organized into ten schools centered around liberal arts, sciences and certain professions:
All undergraduate students are enrolled in the Newcomb-Tulane College. The graduate programs are governed by individual schools. Tulane also offers continuing education courses and associate's degrees through its School of Continuing Studies.
As part of the post-Hurricane Katrina Renewal Plan, the University initiated an extensive university wide core curriculum. Many parts of the core can be bypassed through AP exam or IB course credit, placement exams in English and Foreign Languages offered by the University during Freshmen Orientation, or entering into certain schools with different requirements (students in the School of Science and Engineering are required to take fewer Language classes than students in the School of Liberal Arts. Two major additions to the University Core are TIDES classes (a freshmen seminar that is taken pass fail) and a two class public service sequence. In addition, each school has its own additional core that each student enrolled in the school must complete.
|School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine||Pierre Buekens|
|Newcomb-Tulane College||James MacLaren|
|School of Architecture||Kenneth A. Schwartz, FAIA|
|Law School||Lawrence Ponoroff|
|School of Liberal Arts||Carole Haber|
|School of Medicine||Benjamin Sachs|
|Freeman School of Business||Angelo S. DeNisi|
|School of Science and Engineering||Nicholas J. Altiero|
|School of Social Work||Ronald E. Marks|
|School of Continuing Studies||Richard A. Marksbury|
|William Preston Johnston||1884–1899|
|William Oscar Rogers||1899–1900 (acting)|
|Edwin Boone Craighead||1904–1912|
|Robert Sharp|| 1912–1913 (acting)|
|Albert Bledsoe Dinwiddie||1918–1935|
|Douglas Smith Anderson||1935–1936 (acting)|
|Robert Leonval Menuet||1936–1937 (acting)|
|Rufus Carrollton Harris||1937–1960|
|Maxwell Edward Laphan||1960 (acting)|
|Herbert Eugene Longenecker||1960–1975|
|Eamon Kelly|| 1980–1981 (acting)|
|Scott S. Cowen||1998–present|
Tulane University's football team went 12-0 in 1998 culminating in a 41-27 victory over the Brigham Young University Cougars in the Liberty Bowl. The team finished the season ranked No. 5 in the nation, its best performance to date, led by senior quarterback Shaun King, who in that season set an NCAA record for the highest single-season passing efficiency rating.
Several Tulane alumni are now fixtures in the National Football League, including Patrick Ramsey (Denver Broncos), J.P. Losman (Buffalo Bills), Anthony Cannon (Detroit Lions), Mewelde Moore (Pittsburgh Steelers), Matt Forté (Chicago Bears), and Roydell Williams (Tennessee Titans).
Tulane's baseball team is consistently listed in the Top 25 in national polls such as Baseball America, USA Today/ESPN, and Collegiate Baseball. In 2001, Tulane set a school record by leading the nation with 55 wins and made it to the College World Series in Omaha. Tulane was unable to maintain an 8-0 lead against Stanford University and lost the game 13-11. The Green Wave won its next game against Nebraska 6-5, but was eliminated in the third game by Cal-State Fullerton.
In 2005 the Green Wave had its best season in school history. Tulane started the season ranked first in the nation and held the top spot throughout most of the regular season. The Green Wave entered the postseason ranked No. 1 and beat the Rice University Owls to win the Super Regional. Tulane advanced to the College World Series for the second time in school history.
Several Tulane alumni are now fixtures in the Major Leagues, including Andy Cannizaro (New York Yankees) and Micah Owings (Arizona Diamondbacks). As well, the Green Wave have produced its share of national award winners, including All-America (Jake Gautreau in 2000 and 2001) and Freshman of the Year (James Jurries in 1999).