NEW ORLEANS, LA — Tulane University awarded degrees to nearly 2,800 graduates on May 20 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Local student, Robert Hight, of Oxford, earned a Master of Science degree from Tulane's School of Science & Engineering.
The ceremony's keynote speaker was Helen Mirren, an Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award–winning actress known for her support of humanitarian efforts. Mirren also received an honorary degree along with jazz great Branford Marsalis, civil rights activist Diane Nash and social psychologist Shelley Taylor.
Hight and fellow class members were honored at the ceremony, which included all the pomp and circumstance of a traditional commencement but with a New Orleans twist, including herald trumpets, and a second-line jazz procession. Music was provided by Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band; Marsalis and his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis; jazz singer Topsy Chapman and her daughter Yolanda Windsay, a Master of Liberal Arts degree recipient; and the Tulane a capella group Green Envy.
Tulane University is one of the nation’s leading educational and research institutions. Founded in 1834 in New Orleans, Tulane has ten schools and colleges offering degrees in architecture, business, law, liberal arts, medicine, public health and tropical medicine, the sciences and engineering, and social work.