The Class of 2022 celebrated its Unified Commencement ceremony in true Tulane and New Orleans style on Saturday, May 21 — with music and laughter mixed with serious recognition of the determination and grit that it took to get to this day.
In the academic procession, graduates marched onto Benson Field, where they sat in chairs while their friends and families watched from the Yulman Stadium stands. The sun peeked in and out from behind clouds.
Dr. Michael White and his Original Liberty Jazz Band provided the musical prologue and invocation, setting the tone for the festivities.
Tulane President Michael A. Fitts said, “Music is everywhere in New Orleans. Once you hear that New Orleans beat, once you move to its rhythm, you never get it out of your head.”
Like a practiced DJ, Fitts shared advice and presented samples of iconic musical beats from “Iko, Iko,” “Funky Drummer” and “We Will Rock You,” extolling the strength of the Class of 2022.
“There is so much that could have beaten you down: COVID, hurricanes, and a world in conflict and chaos. But you have not been diminished by your circumstances. You have persisted fearlessly with creativity and confidence. You have kept the beat.”