Tulane University Commencement brought together students, alumni, family and friends for a joyful celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2019. With honorary degrees, faculty teaching awards and memorable speeches, all wrapped in a musical theme, Tulane sent forth more than 3,000 graduates. Scroll or click on any photo below to view the day's highlights.

Graduates and their families converge at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Symbols of fun, decorated umbrellas add to the festivities.

Top row: Selfie time! Second row: On the floor of the Superdome, a graduate with a feathery umbrella looks back at the audience. Third row, left to right: Law school graduates are decked out in purple academic attire. Graduates are all smiles. Fourth row: What’s next? Graduates seated on the front row peruse the program or their phones before the ceremony. Fifth row, left to right: John Lewis, honorary degree recipient, chats with other members of the platform party. Lewis is a civil rights leader and current member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia. Tulane President Mike Fitts is in the background. Blythe Danner, honorary degree recipient, adjusts her cap before processing with other dignitaries to the stage. Danner is a Tony and Emmy award winner and environment, healthcare and cancer research activist. Bottom row: Dean Baquet, honorary degree recipient, checks his phone (maybe an Apple iPhone?) in a quiet moment before the ceremony. Baquet is executive editor of The New York Times and a New Orleans native.

The mesmerizing Pipes and Drums of New Orleans escort Commencement dignitaries to the stage.

Top: Honorary degree recipients John Lewis, Blythe Danner, Dean Baquet and Tim Cook along with President Mike Fitts stand for the National Anthem. Cook was also the keynote speaker. Second row, left to right: President Mike Fitts tells graduates, “One change from one person can transform everything.” Dr. Michael White, far right, leads members of the Original Liberty Jazz Band. Third row, left to right: The incomparable Dr. Michael White performs “Just a Closer Walk” on the clarinet. Topsy Chapman sings "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans." Fourth row: Abi Mbaye, Class of 2019 Speaker, asks her classmates “to keep the doors that have been opened for you open and to open more doors for the people coming behind you.” Fifth row: Tim Cook, Apple CEO and keynote speaker, has this message for the graduates: “Try something. You may succeed. You may fail. But make it your life’s work to remake the world.” Bottom row: Teaching award winners Donata Henry, Michael J. Moore, Sally Richardson, Chayan Chakraborti and Dennis P. Kehoe are recognized for their excellence.

Members of the Class of 2019 savor the moment at University Commencement.

Left to right: Jubilation! The Grand Marshal of the Original Liberty Jazz Band leads the way for graduates as the ceremony concludes.


Photos by Paula Burch-Celentano and Sally Asher