By the way, did you know Marjorie Cowen is getting paid $100k a year as a "senior advisor" for Institutional Advancement. Whatever that means. I will totally need to be nosy and up none of my business and ask Peggy Kelly if she snagged herself a salary while she was occupying Two Audubon Place as the First Lady of Tulane. Because for real, I should look into making my gig a more lucrative position here. I'm not getting any younger, ha!
So what have we been up to?! Well, Coach Hullabaloo and I done gone and graduated our first class of "daughters" from Tulane this year. I had one chickadee assigned to me from the class of 2013 as a Newcomb Town Mom. The past four years I have meticulously cultured her in all ways New Orleans: eating her first oyster, where the proper chargrilled oysters are purveyed (Drago's, duh), how to properly celebrate at a real life Mardi Gras Ball, NOT wear purple to a Tulane Coach's Radio Show, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Chickadee is a big sister to a whole other passel of "daughters" that I currently oversee who will begin graduating soon also. And best news is that Chickadee wants to be a Town Mom herself, so now I will have Grand-Chickadees! Very exciting! The Hullabaloo Dynasty shall continue....
Anyways, at Chickadee's graduation we were watching all manner of New Orleans dignitaries receive honorary doctorates. Dr. John is now Dr. Dr. John (ha! Eric on twitter called this one). Alan Toussaint is now Dr. Toussaint. As we were applauding these wonderful developments, my mind immediately wandered off to Irma and how she should be next in line. Dr. Irma... and then a lightbulb went off closer to home: ...Hello, ME.
Dr. Hullabaloo, Senior Advisor for Tailgating Advancement. Has a nice ring to it. And then, I thought about our tailgating invitations and the awesome change in zip code they'll have now:
Coach and Dr. Hullabaloo
request the pleasure of your company
at The Tailgating Extravaganza
New Orleans, Louisiana
répondez s'il vous plait...
Anyways, so the Friday news dump today was pretty huge, right? That's probably why you are here. So, Hurray! 60 more weeks!!!!
And he won't work for us no' mo'
So here's the deal, because so many poor misguided souls out there right now are actually sad about this, I present to you, my story. and I hope it helps round out the picture for you. I preface this all by saying, I am not bitter. It is what it is.
Back in the January 2006 after Katrina, Cowen came to a meeting the Newcomb alumnae board were having. I was a member. We knew sh&t was fixing to hit the fan and we hadn't had a meeting during the Katrina semester. We told Cowen we were meeting at 10am or whatever. But secretly we met at 8am to give us a few hours to discuss amongst ourselves. Wouldn't you know the man shows up at 9:30. It was an ironic meeting, because our final meeting previous to Katrina in the spring 2005 was where we went over Newcomb's budget numbers. Our alumnae board had always been very vigilant about Newcomb's endowment. Every year our board reviewed where the numbers fit in with Tulane's finances. Tulane had overreached in the past on Newcomb's endowment and so we had been able to fight tooth and nail to preserve the endowment separate from Tulane's over the course of 100+ years. So anyways, this fine morning in January Cowen shows up and proceeds to give us this Oscar-worthy speech about "financial exigency" that was currently threatening Tulane blah blah blah. He had given the same canard to the board of administrators and they bought it hook, line and sinker and then rubber stamped his decisions about restructuring Tulane, firing all of the tenured professors and re-orging all of it's schools. When we spoke to Newcomb alums on the board after their vote, they were shocked to find out what we knew. They were told "this is the only option" and so scared out of their wits, they believed him. So anyways, Scott Cowen starts with this whole business of we are on the verge of extinction as an entity, and so I pipe up and interrupt his speech with a seemingly simple question: "Can we look at the numbers you are looking at?" And he starts hemming and hawing well, uh, you see, uh, "Those numbers won't be ready until August." And so I asked him "well, you are asking us to sign off on something drastic and you are asking us to go by your word that we are in a drastic situation." But he didn't even come in to our meeting with a post-it note or any sort of handout. We were just supposed to fall right into line because he was looking serious and fatherly in a cable knit sweater. So he looks back at me and asked me if I was calling him a liar. Well, ummm, yeah, but who do you think we are here? (I was kinda chicken to sass back "YES!" and just ended up letting it go)
To make a long story short (because I was chin deep in the Newcomb fight for 4 years), we orchestrated two law suits to halt what he was doing. In the course of it, Cowen's lawyers and other admin people who were deposed came back and changed their tune that he had never indicated the restructuring was due to "financial exigency." One of the admin peoples serving as a witness for Tulane actually tried to pass herself off as a Newcomb alumna! I swear we were all aghast. She had gone thru University College thank you very much. Anyways, the beautiful teary speech I had witnessed that day in January was a mirage, we had imagined the whole thing. The official line was that the re-org/merger/endowment stealing happened to "streamline the student experience." That was their story and they were sticking to it.
Y'all if I'm lying, I'm dying.
So you add my experience, plus the valiant efforts by the "Lunatic Fringe" who picketed everyday in front of Gibson Hall over the 2003 review, on top of putting up with the misadministration of athletics in general - and not to mention the "resignation" of Sandy Barbour, the unbelievable humiliation inflicted upon Rich Rodriguez, and a myriad of other unforgivable sins (the titanic deck chairs, remember that statement?) - you can understand my elation at the news that the sun has finally set on the Cowen Administration. I know it's shocking to learn that he was all smoke and mirrors, but he's very good at that. Seconds after pulling the review, he staged that whole BCS david and goliath drama for the media. He was suddenly for the survival of college football after he was against it. And he was going to testify before Congress about it if he had to. All his hard work spit shining himself landed him recognition as a "Top 10" college president bestowed by Time Magazine. <-- some Mad Skillz if you ask me.
Oh, and one last story. Back in the early 2000s, my friend Little Rue (that's what I'm calling him) sat on a plane ride out to Raleigh-Durham next to the son of the athletic director of a school in the ACC. The ACC was in the midst of reorging and he told Little Rue that he was very excited about Tulane joining the ACC because the decision to invite us was pretty much a done deal. Tulane fit right in with the atmosphere of the other schools in the ACC etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. We were still cobbling together decent seasons and beating teams like Mississippi State and TCU and such. Little Rue was thrilled, as were Mr. and Mrs. Hullabaloo (we hadn't assumed our upgraded titles at that point). Only to then have our hopes dashed when Tulane declined. or the invitation fell through or whatever actually happened, I do not know for certain. But the rumors I heard were that we gave the ACC the paw because of the travel costs involved in lugging our teams out to play games on the East Coast.
O. M. G.
Anyways, I'm over it. Until further notice anyways. I need to keep reminding myself that the Dalai Lama was our official commencement speaker this year and I should very much take to heart that the past is the past and we should forgive and forget. I should let go that we went from #38 to #51 in college rankings while Case Western shot out of a cannon in the opposite direction, Our 6 years of not being in the post season in baseball is old hat, Our 10 years since our last bowl game is ancient history. Scott Cowen will soon also be in our rearview mirror. (yay) So onwards! Let us now turn our attention onto South Alabama!
So, to change topics: A very exciting forward-looking development is the new "young alum" booster club started by the Young Turks (or young drunks as they posted on here). It's called the Gumby Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Coach and Dr. Hullabaloo went to the launch party last night and offered our warmest wishes.
and look, they got a cake and bumper stickers, so cute! I am so excited for them and wish them much merriment making in the years to come. This same group was behind the Turchin Tidal Wave and the Fogelman Fanatics. I hope we land them a new president worthy of their enthusiasm.
So here's to new beginnings and not looking back!